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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

OTP- August 2012: The Leader Post: New stadium won’t have same appeal, says Bill ‘Spaceman’ Lee

“Building a new stadium down the street does not work unless (Ron) Lancaster spilled some DNA in the lot where they’re going to build the new stadium,” he added. “You have to refurbish (Mosaic Stadium). You’ve got to can all new ideas you might have and use the sacred ground. Fenway did that and that is why Fenway is loved. The new Yankee Stadium isn’t the same as it used to be.”

The former Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos pitcher will not be running for the vacant mayor’s position in Regina later this year. With his opinion on the new stadium, he wasn’t sure he would garner many votes anyway. But that is nothing new to the former member of the Rhinoceros Party. Lee ran on the Rhino ticket in 1988 for president of the United States. Not surprisingly, he didn’t make the ballot in a single state. He said one of the high-ranking members within the party gave him a six-pack of Molson Canadian and asked him to run for president.

“I adhered to their funny philosophy,” Lee said. “My campaign slogan was ‘No guns, no butter. They’ll both kill you.’ And I only campaigned in federal prisons where I knew they couldn’t vote, and I only accepted a quarter in campaign contributions.”

With it being an election year in the U.S., Lee said he is all in for the re-election of Barack Obama.

“The only time (Mitt) Romney opens his mouth is when he needs to change feet,” Lee said of the Republican nominee. “If Obama does lose this, which I can’t see happening, then it’s because of a lady in Florida who works for Jeb Bush and Diebold, the voting-machine company. If Obama even comes close to losing this election, it’ll be fraud.”

Guess what, its the new OT politics thread!

Tripon Posted: August 01, 2012 at 12:04 AM | 5975 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: boston, politics

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   101. booond Posted: August 01, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4198439)
The problem is that we want to have cheaper fruits, veggies and construction services but don't want to admit that those are only possible using non-citizens as the labor force.
   102. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 01, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4198440)
I see someone is unaware that the filibuster-proof Senate was intact for exactly 7 weeks.

September 25, 2009 to February 4, 2010 was only 7 weeks? You might want to check your math.

Regardless, politicians act out of self-interest. If the Dream Act was "extremely popular," then Obama should have been able to swing a GOP Senator or two over to his side. (And with Snowe, Collins, et al., there was no shortage of squishy R's to target.)
   103. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 01, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4198442)
Ignorami and pompous asses for 500 more posts. I'll be back if I need to vomit something.
   104. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 01, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4198443)

It's always weird when people who don't participate in a thread pop in to tell everyone how awful the thread is.
   105. Dan The Mediocre Posted: August 01, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4198445)
September 25, 2009 to February 4, 2010 was only 7 weeks? You might want to check your math.


Al Franken was seated July 7, 2009. Ted Kennedy died August 25, 2009. July 7 to August 25 is 49 days, or exactly 7 weeks. And since 59/40 < 2/3, they didn't have a filibuster proof majority at any point other than that period.

You might want to check your history.
   106. Steve Treder Posted: August 01, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4198447)
It's always weird when people who don't participate in a thread pop in to tell everyone how awful the thread is.

On that point we are in complete agreement.
   107. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 01, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4198448)
You might want to check your history.

Paul Kirk was appointed on Sept. 25, 2009 and held office until Scott Brown replaced him on Feb. 4, 2010.

The whole "Scott Brown ends filibuster-proof Senate" thing was kind of a big storyline. Perhaps you missed it.
   108. Swedish Chef Posted: August 01, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4198452)
It's possible for a third party to be so successful that it kills one of the two major parties and takes its place, as with the Republicans and the Whigs before the civil war. Otherwise, our system doesn't allow for third parties to be effective.

You can have a thriving sectional party in a first-past-the-post system, say a New England or Western party.

Also, the liberal democrats in England are still not dead despite not being top two since WWI.
   109. Dan The Mediocre Posted: August 01, 2012 at 06:30 PM (#4198455)

Paul Kirk was appointed on Sept. 25, 2009 and held office until Scott Brown replaced him on Feb. 4, 2010.

The whole "Scott Brown ends filibuster-proof Senate" thing was kind of a big storyline. Perhaps you missed it.


Indeed, I had forgotten that. So they had 60 senators from July 7 to August 25, 2009 and again from September 25, 2009 to February 4, 2010. A total of 181 days. But out of those 181 days they were in session for only about 48 days(could only find the tentative calendar). So even still, only about 7 weeks in session where they had a filibuster proof senate.
   110. booond Posted: August 01, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4198463)
   111. villageidiom Posted: August 01, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4198467)
Indeed, I had forgotten that. So they had 60 senators from July 7 to August 25, 2009 and again from September 25, 2009 to February 4, 2010. A total of 181 days.
Before we move goalposts again, let the record show that 181 days is closer to 49 days than it is to 365 days.
   112. Steve Treder Posted: August 01, 2012 at 07:05 PM (#4198469)
Two Atlantic columnists today come to quite similar conclusions regarding Romney's political acumen.

James Fallows:

Three months before the election, it is fair to wonder about Mitt Romney's basic skill level as a politician. I am not talking policy and substance, which I will do later. I'm talking about the counterpart to what coaches call "overall athleticism," "court vision," "ball sense," even "football IQ." In politics this includes an ability to read audiences, to self-edit and self-correct in real time, and to sense effortlessly how your words will sound to people on the other end.


Robert Wright:

I used to think the Democratic rap on Romney--that he's one of these rich people who just can't see the way life looks to less rich people--was just a clever and not wholly implausible talking point. But I'm starting to take it much more seriously. I think his gaffes abroad do bespeak an inability to put himself in the shoes of other people, whether Brits who are proud of their Olympic preparations or Palestinians who live under occupation.


   113. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 01, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4198473)
Of course it's not going to work as intended. It's not going to drive the candidates to the middle, it's going to drive the electorate to the fringes, and the center won't have anyone to vote for because only two candidates will be allowed on the final ballot.

I don't know. My guess is it will work differently depending on the makeup of the district.
It's possible that in those districts which are overwhelmingly liberal or conservative, you'll have a candidate move towards the middle, but you'll just end up with two candidates appealing to the same majority, while every other opposition party is locked out of the final ballot. That proposition started as an anti-incumbent piece of legislation, but there's never been any evidence that that's worked in any other area where this type of legislation has been installed.
   114. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 01, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4198474)
Before we move goalposts again, let the record show that 181 days is closer to 49 days than it is to 365 days.

Which proves what, exactly?

Whether Obama had a filibuster-proof Senate for 49 days or 181 days or 365 days, he had PLENTY of time to move so-called immigration reform if it was a high priority for him. Obviously, it wasn't a priority, and it wasn't a priority because it was (and remains) politically toxic.
   115. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: August 01, 2012 at 07:18 PM (#4198476)
Two Atlantic columnists today come to quite similar conclusions regarding Romney's political acumen.

You mean a Carter speechwriter and a New Republic editor aren't fans of a Republican candidate? Next you'll be telling me that two Fox talking heads don't think re-electing Obama would be good for the economy.
   116. Steve Treder Posted: August 01, 2012 at 07:24 PM (#4198482)
You mean a Carter speechwriter and a New Republic editor aren't fans of a Republican candidate? Next you'll be telling me that two Fox talking heads don't think re-electing Obama would be good for the economy.

Nice messenger-shooting, there.
   117. Kurt Posted: August 01, 2012 at 07:34 PM (#4198485)
Nice messenger-shooting, there.

Well, what's the message? Their subjective impressions of the candidate? In that case, fire away.
   118. Steve Treder Posted: August 01, 2012 at 07:40 PM (#4198487)
In that case, fire away.

I would find an engagement on the substance of their subjective impressions -- that is, the apparent shortage of political acumen/social skill in the Republican Presidential nominee, and what that might portend not just for his ability to win the election, but his ability to be an effective President if he is elected -- more persuasive than a knee-jerk labeling of the editorial writers.

If their subjective impressions are demonstrably inaccurate, please explain how.
   119. Sonic Youk Posted: August 01, 2012 at 08:00 PM (#4198493)
Not passing DREAM doesnt say anything about it popularity, anyway. It was lower on the agenda than other stuff, thats really the whole story.
   120. dr. scott Posted: August 01, 2012 at 08:02 PM (#4198495)
Obama was pretty much most interested in the health care act suring the 181 days of filibuster proof majority. I suppose you can blame him for not being able to walk and chew gum at the same time and that he found health care more important as the message out of the white house was that was the first and foremost policy to get through the congress. He may not in fact really want to use political capitol to push the Dream Act through, but not sure the evidence is anything more than he chose health care first. Everything else is really speculation... which is what the internet is all about.
   121. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 01, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4198505)
A lot of people are dreaming about Dream.

If Dream was so "extremely popular," Obama wouldn't have needed a filibuster-proof Senate at all. Obama & Co. would have passed it in three days back in early 2009.
   122. Kurt Posted: August 01, 2012 at 08:24 PM (#4198507)
If their subjective impressions are demonstrably inaccurate, please explain how.

By definition, their subjective impressions are not demonstrably inaccurate.

"Nice messenger-shooting" seems a more appropriate response to "James Fallows and Robert Wright report that Mitt Romney failed to pay taxes from 2003-2008" than "James Fallows and Robert Wright report that Mitt Romney is an out of touch rich guy lacking sufficient compassion."
   123. Steve Treder Posted: August 01, 2012 at 08:30 PM (#4198510)
Whatever.

What about the substance of the issue? Please don't pretend that a candidate's or a President's, you know, personality isn't a very real and very significant matter within the context of campaigns and administrations.
   124. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 01, 2012 at 08:42 PM (#4198517)
What about the substance of the issue?

Mitt Romney is a Republican who managed to get elected governor of very liberal Massachusetts.

Mitt Romney was underestimated and sometimes reviled through large parts of the GOP primary but emerged victorious.

Mitt Romney is a very rich guy at a time when being rich is an alleged negative, yet he leads Obama in several national polls.

If Fallows and Wright really believe a few inconsequential missteps in Europe render the above moot, then my subjective opinion is that Fallows and Wright are far worse at political analysis than Mitt Romney is at running for office.
   125. Sonic Youk Posted: August 01, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4198527)
I dont get 121. Are you saying it couldnt have passed? It certainly would have. They passed 3 major bills and some other stuff. Cap & trade and DREAM missed the cut. That sounds about right for a legislative session. "Three days" is nuts, I dont think the democrats have a version of ALEC.
   126. Tripon Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:02 PM (#4198533)
I'll be very surprised if Obama loses the election by this point. This whole election season screams 2004 to me. The incumbent has his flaws, and a vocal opposition party, but they fielded a weak candidate because several stronger ones were viewed to either be too inexperienced or didn't bother to enter. Then the Republican presidential nomination race was just as weird as the 2004 Democratic Nomination race where somehow Kerry was the nominee. I mean, we just had a race where Michelle Bachmann was taken seriously for a second, and Rick Perry just pretty much declared he was an idiot on live television multiple times.

I think if a guy like Mitch Daniels was in this race, he'd probably do much better. Considered a centrist, salt of the Earth type, doesn't need to yell to get his point across but he definitely gets his point across. And you can have Amy Poheler and the cast of Park and Rec campaign for him. (In fact, I'm surprised Daniels hasn't been mentioned more as a possible VP pick, since he'll shore up the base, and appeal to Independents at the same time and probably some conservative Democrats.)

But its Mitt Romney, and Joe, the problem with Mitt is that even though he was the Governor of liberal Mass., you haven't seen anybody from Mass. come out and support him. I'm always wary of the guy who can't get his home base supporters out and about. The guys from back home always know more than the national media people.
   127. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4198535)
I dont get 121. Are you saying it couldnt have passed? It certainly would have. They passed 3 major bills and some other stuff. Cap & trade and DREAM missed the cut. That sounds about right for a legislative session.

Dream didn't pass because Dems didn't want to vote for it. It's as simple as that. The fierce voter backlash from the attempts to pass "comprehensive immigration reform" in 2007 was still fresh in lawmakers' minds.

Otherwise, if Dream "would have passed" but the Dems simply didn't bother, then what does that say about the Dems' commitment to Latinos?

"Three days" is nuts, I dont think the democrats have a version of ALEC.

The Dream Act isn't a new idea. It's been introduced every year since 2001. If it was a priority for Dems, it shouldn't have taken more than a day to dust off the 2008 version and have it ready to go when Obama took office with full Dem control of Congress.

Again, the claim above is that the Dream Act is "extremely popular." Legislation that's "extremely popular" doesn't take much time to get through Congress.
   128. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:06 PM (#4198536)
It's always weird when people who don't participate in a thread pop in to tell everyone how awful the thread is.


I can read, thanks. And apparently I wanted to vomit. Thanks for the assist.
   129. Kurt Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4198541)
What about the substance of the issue? Please don't pretend that a candidate's or a President's, you know, personality isn't a very real and very significant matter within the context of campaigns and administrations.

On the substance of the issue, I don't care. I know enough about his positions to know I won't be voting for him. Like 99.8% of America, I haven't been paying attention to his current trip. I do find it unlikely that "I'm concerned about Olympic preparations" and whatever negative things he said about Palestinians will swing very many swingable votes.
   130. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:15 PM (#4198542)
126 — It's hard to disagree with anything in your post, but I still see Romney as a very slight favorite in November, at least under the current economic conditions and with current polling saying what it's saying.

As for Mitch Daniels, he recently accepted the position of president at Purdue, so he took himself out of the veepstakes rather convincingly.
   131. booond Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:20 PM (#4198545)
I think if a guy like Mitch Daniels was in this race, he'd probably do much better. Considered a centrist, salt of the Earth type, doesn't need to yell to get his point across but he definitely gets his point across. And you can have Amy Poheler and the cast of Park and Rec campaign for him. (In fact, I'm surprised Daniels hasn't been mentioned more as a possible VP pick, since he'll shore up the base, and appeal to Independents at the same time and probably some conservative Democrats.)


He had marital problems that his wife didn't want spread across the country. Also, he's no centrist. He looks like a centrist if you grade the republican party on a curve but he's a firm conservative.
   132. booond Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:24 PM (#4198546)
Mitt Romney is a Republican who managed to get elected governor of very liberal Massachusetts.

Mitt Romney was underestimated and sometimes reviled through large parts of the GOP primary but emerged victorious.

Mitt Romney is a very rich guy at a time when being rich is an alleged negative, yet he leads Obama in several national polls.


Mitt campaigned as a moderate to liberal republican in Massachusetts. Today's Mitt would get 40% in Massachusetts.

Mitt had much more money than all the candidates in the GOP primary and struggled against a very weak group.

Which Electoral college poll does he lead in?
   133. Jay Z Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4198547)
Deleted - repeating other people's info
   134. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4198549)
I still see Romney as a very slight favorite in November, at least under the current economic conditions and with current polling saying what it's saying.

Currently, the polling is saying that Obama is solidly ahead in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, comfortably ahead in Virginia and Colorado, and ahead in Florida. Just Ohio alone would be problematic, as no Republican has ever been elected President without it.

Romney is Tom Dewey without the lead.
   135. Steve Treder Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:43 PM (#4198559)
Which Electoral college poll does he lead in?

None I've seen, and the EC polls are the only ones that matter.
   136. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 01, 2012 at 10:24 PM (#4198578)
Mitt campaigned as a moderate to liberal republican in Massachusetts. Today's Mitt would get 40% in Massachusetts.

So he's a pragmatic politician who does what's needed to win. That bolsters my point, not Fallows' and Wright's.

Which Electoral college poll does he lead in?

None, but the election isn't today, the vast majority of these polls are registered voters rather than likely voters, and the underlying poll numbers (economy, right track/wrong track, net strong approval/disapproval, voter enthusiasm, etc.) are all very bad for Obama right now. There's also an odd disconnect between the national poll numbers (very tight) and the electoral college projections (big Obama win), and frequent disconnects between the Obama/Romney race and the Senate races in several key states (e.g., Obama ahead in Virginia while Allen leads Kaine).

No incumbent president in the era of presidential polling has won reelection when his approval was under 50 percent in January or February of an election year, let alone August. Given that voters have a tendency to vote their wallet, I have a hard time believing that "I like Obama better" will trump all of the economic negatives.
   137. Sonic Youk Posted: August 01, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4198579)
127- they voted on it several times in 2010. It had majorities but got filibibustered. So that doesnt add up.

The hispanic constituancy is plenty irked, but im guessing they know the difference between who brought the bill up too late and who blocked it.

Edit- and still, three days is crazy. For one thing those bills had R sponsers. And every major bill requires time, no matter how popular. Especially in the D caucus.

Writing on phones ia horrible.
   138. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 01, 2012 at 10:43 PM (#4198587)
127- they voted on it several times in 2010. It had majorities but got filibibustered. So that doesnt add up.

When the Dems had clear sailing to pass Dream, they did nothing. It was only after they lost their filibuster-proof majority that they tried to move the legislation. The idea that the Senate couldn't work on 4-5 pieces of legislation simultaneously in 2009 is silly.

The hispanic constituancy is plenty irked, but im guessing they know the difference between who brought the bill up too late and who blocked it.

Bush and the Republicans tried to pass "comprehensive immigration reform" in 2007 and absolutely no political benefits accrued to them for having done so. The idea that large numbers of Latinos would start voting GOP because of immigration reform was always a pipe dream pushed by some naive R's.
   139. tshipman Posted: August 01, 2012 at 11:48 PM (#4198607)
When the Dems had clear sailing to pass Dream, they did nothing. It was only after they lost their filibuster-proof majority that they tried to move the legislation. The idea that the Senate couldn't work on 4-5 pieces of legislation simultaneously in 2009 is silly.


This is a bizarre view of history. The Democrats in 2009 took just around 8 months to pass legislation that was the top Democratic priority for at least the last 20 years. Democrats gave no indication in 2009 that they realized that they would have zero cooperation from the other side of the aisle for the forseeable future. They thought that the DREAM Act, since it was originally sponsored by a bunch of Republicans, would get Republican votes.

This was stupid in hindsight, because the Republican party decided they hated America.
   140. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 02, 2012 at 12:01 AM (#4198609)
The only bizarre view of history is claiming that something the Dems literally didn't touch for a year after taking full control of the federal government was anything resembling a priority. The Dems knew damn well that Obamacare would be a huge fight, so why would they delay passing other priority legislation when they had a filibuster-proof Senate? Did the Dems honestly believe they'd get GOP cooperation after ramming Obamacare through Congress with zero GOP votes? Or did they foolishly believe the non-stop 2008–09 headlines about the "permanent majority" only to have reality bite them in the rear end?
   141. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 02, 2012 at 12:18 AM (#4198613)
There's also an odd disconnect between the national poll numbers (very tight) and the electoral college projections (big Obama win)

Obama picked up 53% of the popular vote and 69% of the electoral vote. In 2004, GWB got 50.7% popular, 53% electoral. He lost the popular vote in 2000 and won. Clinton '96 got 49% and 70%. Clinton '92 got 43% and 68%. Bush Sr. was at 53% and 79%. Reagan '84 was 59% and 97%, after having been at 50.7% and 90.8%. Maybe that odd disconnect isn't so odd.

and frequent disconnects between the Obama/Romney race and the Senate races in several key states (e.g., Obama ahead in Virginia while Allen leads Kaine).

Some people like Obama and no one likes Romney.
   142. booond Posted: August 02, 2012 at 12:20 AM (#4198614)
Obama had a small issue when he took office - put out the ####### fire started by the Bush administration.

The economy collapsed.

The auto industry tanked.

We were in two wars.

In the middle of all this was a treasonous republican party who, fueled by racist hatred, weren't going to lift a finger to help put the fire out. The Minority leader of the senate said his one goal was to "make Obama a one term president." It wasn't to use the power of his office to help his constituents but to block progress. In less civilized environments he'd be walked to the gallows.

The Dream Act wasn't important.


   143. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 02, 2012 at 12:27 AM (#4198617)
Obama picked up 53% of the popular vote and 69% of the electoral vote. In 2004, GWB got 50.7% popular, 53% electoral. He lost the popular vote in 2000 and won. Clinton '96 got 49% and 70%. Clinton '92 got 43% and 68%. Bush Sr. was at 53% and 79%. Reagan '84 was 59% and 97%, after having been at 50.7% and 90.8%. Maybe that odd disconnect isn't so odd.

Given that Obama is at around 46 percent in most national polls, rather than the 50-plus percent in your examples above, the disconnect actually is quite odd.

***
In the middle of all this was a treasonous republican party who, fueled by racist hatred, weren't going to lift a finger to help put the fire out. The Minority leader of the senate said his one goal was to "make Obama a one term president." It wasn't to use the power of his office to help his constituents but to block progress. In less civilized environments he'd be walked to the gallows.

This is a hell of a theory, except you forgot the part about the Dems having a filibuster-proof Senate and not needing one iota of cooperation from the "treasonous" GOP.

The Dream Act wasn't important.

Oh, so all of your bluster aside, you agree with me that the Dream Act wasn't a Dem priority in 2009. Interesting.
   144. booond Posted: August 02, 2012 at 12:56 AM (#4198621)
Oh, so all of your bluster aside, you agree with me that the Dream Act wasn't a Dem priority in 2009.


No rescuing the country from eight years of disaster was a little more important.

Given that Obama is at around 46 percent in most national polls,


Last three non-Rasmussen national polls have Obama between 47-50.

   145. tshipman Posted: August 02, 2012 at 01:07 AM (#4198623)
Oh, so all of your bluster aside, you agree with me that the Dream Act wasn't a Dem priority in 2009. Interesting.


I don't get what kind of gotcha this is. Dream Act was behind Stimulus, PPACA, Lilly Ledbetter, C&T and possibly even card check. No one has claimed that it was one of the Democratic party's top priorities. Dem's took way, way too long on stimulus and PPACA (in part because they underestimated R intransigence). Dream Act was a Dem priority. It was also behind several other pieces of legislation, in part because they thought that they would get help from the former ####### co-sponsors of the bill.
   146. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 02, 2012 at 01:30 AM (#4198630)
No rescuing the country from eight years of disaster was a little more important.

George W. Bush didn't tank the economy. Somebody else made that happen.

Last three non-Rasmussen national polls have Obama between 47-50.

Registered or likely voters? (And Rasmussen, whose track record is hard to dispute, has Romney ahead 47–44.)

***
I don't get what kind of gotcha this is. ...

So Dream was "extremely popular" and the U.S.'s current immigration situation is "inhumane," but Dems prioritized it behind Ledbetter, C&T, and card check? That doesn't make much sense.
   147. tshipman Posted: August 02, 2012 at 01:59 AM (#4198635)
So Dream was "extremely popular" and the U.S.'s current immigration situation is "inhumane," but Dems prioritized it behind Ledbetter, C&T, and card check? That doesn't make much sense.


I should mention that card check is pure supposition. It never got off the ground to be a piece of legislation.

Dream is pretty popular and the US's current immigration situation is untenable. (I think inhumane is sort of a loaded term. The anti-immigrant sentiment is inhumane, though.) At the same time, it was less of a priority than Ledbetter, C&T, Stimulus and PPACA.

You also keep repeating the filibuster proof majority like it means something. When Ben Nelson is your 60th vote, you don't have a filibuster proof majority for DREAM.
   148. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 02, 2012 at 02:09 AM (#4198636)
There's no sense going in a fifth or sixth circle on this, but it still seems contradictory to claim that Dream is and was "extremely popular" while complaining that a 60th vote couldn't be found, either within the Dem caucus or across the aisle. "Extremely popular" legislation wouldn't have gone 0-for-11 since 2001.
   149. greenback calls it soccer Posted: August 02, 2012 at 02:20 AM (#4198639)
I see someone has a dated view of how the Senate works.

Wasn't the Senate pretty much designed from Day One to be an obstructionist PITA? We're stuck with a system that was built explicitly to preserve the late 18th century status quo for slavery. It's kinda nuts.
   150. Jay Z Posted: August 02, 2012 at 02:34 AM (#4198647)
Registered or likely voters? (And Rasmussen, whose track record is hard to dispute, has Romney ahead 47–44.)


Rasmussen has been disputed a number of times for being right-leaning. Make your own judgments, but they certainly have critics.

Obama's poll numbers are approximately where GWB was at this point in 2004. GWB was polling in the 40s, with a very gradual trend upward. Obama is about the same. Truman was polling in the high 30s in summer 1948, though the last Gallup poll before the election was in June.

Jerry Ford polled better than he got votes, but that was a weird case obviously. Carter and GHWB were obviously in trouble, Truman was in trouble in 52, Johnson not as bad but trending badly in 68. Everyone else was high enough so the re-election wasn't going to be all that close.

Congress has also been polling extremely poorly, even by its own meager standards, though that has bounced back a bit.
   151. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 02, 2012 at 07:37 AM (#4198667)
None, but the election isn't today, the vast majority of these polls are registered voters rather than likely voters, and the underlying poll numbers (economy, right track/wrong track, net strong approval/disapproval, voter enthusiasm, etc.) are all very bad for Obama right now. There's also an odd disconnect between the national poll numbers (very tight) and the electoral college projections (big Obama win), and frequent disconnects between the Obama/Romney race and the Senate races in several key states (e.g., Obama ahead in Virginia while Allen leads Kaine).

No incumbent president in the era of presidential polling has won reelection when his approval was under 50 percent in January or February of an election year, let alone August. Given that voters have a tendency to vote their wallet, I have a hard time believing that "I like Obama better" will trump all of the economic negatives.


This exact statement was made by Democrats rationalizing to themselves why Kerry really was going to win in 2004. I mean, more or less verbatim, this was the exact sort of thing you saw from Dems in 2004.

The national polls are tight because deep red states have a lot of very agitated GOP voters who will show up in numbers, while deep blue states are very blase about Obama and won't turn out in as big of numbers. So you're going to see a lot of overwhelming wins by Romney in states the GOP always wins, and a lot of smaller margin wins by Obama in states the Dems always win. But in order to win the election, Romney has to win something like 3/4 of the toss-ups, and right now he's trailing significantly in every single one of them (including FL and OH.) Thus the EC gulf between "national polls."

If you're a GOP partisan (hi Joe) and you think you're in a good position to win 2012, you're setting yourself up for some serious disappointment. Unless something significantly changes, Obama is going to win a second term by a not-small margin in the EC, which is all that matters.
   152. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 02, 2012 at 07:41 AM (#4198670)
There's no sense going in a fifth or sixth circle on this, but it still seems contradictory to claim that Dream is and was "extremely popular" while complaining that a 60th vote couldn't be found, either within the Dem caucus or across the aisle. "Extremely popular" legislation wouldn't have gone 0-for-11 since 2001.


All of this whinging about "60 vote majority" ignores the politics of politics. The 60th vote, on a good day, was always Ben Nelson. Ben Nelson was never a liberal and never supported much of the Democratic platform outside of "keep feeding me corn subsidies and I'll keep caucusing with you guys."

The DREAM act is popular among voters/citizens. It has little support in DC, because there's no natural constituency/voter bloc to pull that would incent a pol to support it. It's like prison reform; it's clearly the right thing to do, but the system is full of warped incentives that make "the right thing" always subservient to "the thing that will get me X more votes."
   153. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 02, 2012 at 07:44 AM (#4198672)
Rasmussen has been disputed a number of times for being right-leaning. Make your own judgments, but they certainly have critics.


Rasmussen demonstrably leans GOP. That's not really an opinion any more. It's just the fact of their process. If you want something useful, check poll of polls and Nate Silver. If you're looking for a result that caters to your existing bias, look for Rasmussen or whatever the Dem version of Rasmussen is.
   154. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 02, 2012 at 07:52 AM (#4198674)
Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) "I know in your mind you can think of times when America was attacked. One is December 7th, that's Pearl Harbor day. The other is September 11th, and that's the day of the terrorist attack. I want you to remember August the 1st, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom. That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates."

He's talking about insurers having to offer contraceptive coverage as part of ObamaCare.

EDIT: The best part is his desire to explain what exactly Dec 7th and Septemeber 11th are. He knows his audience I guess.
   155. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 02, 2012 at 07:54 AM (#4198675)
Pretty much any time a specific poll or pollster is called out to make a point it is cherry picking. Sometimes you have no choice, but in something like the presidential race there is no reason not to poll average.
   156. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 02, 2012 at 08:00 AM (#4198676)
I'm glad we traded Mike Kelly to the Reds.
   157. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 02, 2012 at 08:05 AM (#4198677)
One of the under appreciated bits of Romney's Miscues Around the World Tour was him saying how great Isreal's health care system was and how cost effective it is compared to the US. Naturally it is a system far to the left of his own RomneyCare proposal.
   158. villageidiom Posted: August 02, 2012 at 08:20 AM (#4198681)
Which proves what, exactly?
I'm just passing along basic facts, not trying to prove anything.

Interesting, though, how the two folks who were trying to prove something got it wrong, and happened to get it wrong in a way that bolstered their argument. As you point out in your response to me, even at 181 days your point still stands, but if your point still stands at 181 why did you feel the need to (a) use an inaccurate number and (b) belittle the person who used a more accurate number than yours? (That's a rhetorical question; I neither need nor expect an answer, and you don't owe an answer to anyone here.)
   159. Lassus Posted: August 02, 2012 at 08:27 AM (#4198684)
George W. Bush didn't tank the economy. Somebody else made that happen.

As a non-economist, I'm asking this seriously, as I have no idea. Who?
   160. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 02, 2012 at 08:35 AM (#4198687)
As a non-economist, I'm asking this seriously, as I have no idea. Who?


As an economist (once) I answer non-seriously ACORN.

Of course no one person wrecks an economy, but the Bush administration's policies and many of the laws championed by the administration exacerbated an ordinary recession into a complete train wreck. Terrible monetary policy did not help either, but it is a bit tough to tag Bush for that.

The part that amazed me wasn't the terrible tax policy or the regulatory agency nonfeasance, but when things started to unravel after the election Bush just seemed to completely abdicate all responsibility. It felt like this weird power vacuum with Bush gone and yet Obama was not yet president.
   161. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 02, 2012 at 08:54 AM (#4198700)
The part that amazed me wasn't the terrible tax policy or the regulatory agency nonfeasance, but when things started to unravel after the election Bush just seemed to completely abdicate all responsibility. It felt like this weird power vacuum with Bush gone and yet Obama was not yet president.


In the 1970s, the economy was choking in a tangled web of regulatory overreach, the result of 50 years of "this is what we did last time, so let's do it again this time, regardless of changing dynamics" by Democratic administrations. The first line solution to this problem was the Reagan-Kemp plan; deregulation where possible, cutting top line tax from the 70-80+ percentage rates; getting government out of the way. That's the point of Reagan's famous line from the '81 inaugural, "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."

We then embarked on a 30 year odyssey where that simple insight was internalized and generalized, in much the same way LBJ era liberals had internalized and generalized the "government is the solution" elements of FDR's successful recovery effort from the Depression era. This generalized - some might say reified - idea that deregulation and tax cuts were the panacea to fix every problem imaginable was eventually embraced by both parties. That's what Clinton's DLC takeover was all about, domestically; the embracing of Reagan-Kemp theory by the young Democratic van, moving away from the entrenched opposition from previous generations.

By the time W. took office, the Dems had completely accepted deregulation and supply-side theory, while the GOP had gone even further into the weeds, becoming lickspittles of the Grover Norquest elements of the right and projecting all problems in the world to be solved by a magical free market fairy, as long as "government" would "get out of the way." See also "the rise of right wing libertarianism in America."

By 2007-8, pretty much everyone, and absolutely everyone on the right, had edited out the preface of Reagan's quote; that opening clause which situates his solution and policies quite historically. "In this present crisis" was dropped completely down the memory hole, such that deregulation and tax cuts were at that point the uber alles solution to every conceivable problem. (The GOP still lives in this mindspace today.)

GWBush was never a deep thinker, a policy wonk, or particularly curious intellectually about anything. He, personally, had no means to think outside of the "cut taxes and deregulate" box, which was the primary cause of his "present crisis," and as such was exceptionally poorly equipped to deal with it. Which is not to say he "caused" the financial collapse per se. He didn't. He was just the true believer standing on the podium when 30 years of unthinking "do what Reagan did, regardless of the actual situation at hand" policy came back to bite the national economy in the ass.

And to the point, that sort of blindered thinking about economic issues still controls the "Washington consensus" in much the same way that some form of liberal interventionism (neocon theory is just lib interventionism on steroids) controls every FP discussion from the ground up.
   162. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 02, 2012 at 08:58 AM (#4198702)
George W. Bush didn't tank the economy. Somebody else made that happen.

As a non-economist, I'm asking this seriously, as I have no idea. Who?


Glass-Steagall was replaced under Clinton, he's just as guilty as Bush for the current crisis, if not more so. Have you people not seen Inside Job yet? If not, why not?
   163. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4198708)
Glass-Steagall was replaced under Clinton, he's just as guilty as Bush for the current crisis, if not more so.


This is true, and pithier than my rant.
   164. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:30 AM (#4198731)
Glass-Steagall was replaced under Clinton, he's just as guilty as Bush for the current crisis, if not more so.


There were a bunch of things Clinton did that were terrible and I admit this is one, and a fairly reasonable effort to get at the proximate first cause of the crash, though such things are a tangle. But if Clinton was the father, Bush was the midwife who delivered that monstrosity.

I am willing to spread the blame, but attempts to remove Bush from any blame are silly.

And Sam I liked your rant. Pithy is not always a virtue.
   165. Lassus Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4198737)
I am willing to spread the blame, but attempts to remove Bush from any blame are silly.

Your equanimity enrages me.
   166. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4198740)
Your equanimity enrages me.


I have been told before that I really don't get this "internet" thing. Something about being willing to admit I don't know something or that I was wrong. I keep trying, but I just don't seem to have the heart and soul for it. I will keep soldiering on though.

Complete aside: I really should change my handle, since I am not really bitter about much of anything, but laziness and inertia stops me. I can't even remember why I ended up with that handle. My memory is so terrible.
   167. zonk Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:47 AM (#4198743)
The 60 silliness makes me laugh... One of those 60 was Joe Lieberman - who campaigned for the GOP candidate and even spoke at the GOP convention. I understand the Democratic perspective in welcoming him back into the caucus - but the mistake was not making it clear that his welcome (and most importantly, committee chairmanships) were only good so long as he toed the line, the way the GOP caucus was so successful in keeping Snowe, Collins, Grassley, and Graham in line.

Besides, the DREAM Act wasn't a priority in 2009 because comprehensive immigration reform was the priority -- but health dragged on and on and on...

I think Obama's mistake his first two years was one of tactical positioning - he behaved far too much like a legislator and frankly, believed his own statements about cooperation and a new era of bipartisanship too much. It should have been clear from the election that such a bridge was impossible because the other side was more interested in excavating their side of the bank further to the right - not building towards any middle common ground. As such, Obama should have recognized this required more Harry Truman than LBJ -- berating, threats, and 'or else's' for his own caucus and an extended middle finger towards the other rather than ass kissing, meetings, and compromise.

There were just too many instances where bad faith predominated -- from Lieberman nixing the Medicare buy-in at 50 proposal that Lieberman himself had originally suggested because House liberals embraced it, to Grassley going death panel because he got afraid of the crazies to DeMint's 'waterloo' to McConnell's "most important task" -- it was a time for Sherman laying waste, not Lincoln's malice towards none.

Hey - I'd prefer a world where government governs, compromises happen, serious issues are given honest debate with the majority votes falling where they may... but that wasn't the world in 2009, 2010, or frankly - now. The halls of congress are infested with too many people that belong on AM radio and the honest brokers in both parties are too afraid of the power those yahoos wield to do their jobs.

   168. Swedish Chef Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4198744)
I can't even remember why I ended up with that handle.

It fits perfectly for someone repeatedly duped by Apple's hype about a new, better mouse (puck mouse, Magic Mouse, that stupid thing with a trackball). Or a Disney employee.
   169. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4198745)
There were a bunch of things Clinton did that were terrible and I admit this is one, and a fairly reasonable effort to get at the proximate first cause of the crash, though such things are a tangle. But if Clinton was the father, Bush was the midwife who delivered that monstrosity.
The current political situation in financial policy shows how ###### up this all is.

On one side, we have the exact same people who enacted Clinton-era financial deregulation, now arguing for relatively mild forms of financial regulation. On the other side, we have people arguing that we should more fully embrace the financial deregulation that enabled the crisis.

There's a difference between the parties, but it isn't one that makes me terribly optimistic about our nation's future.
   170. tshipman Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:50 AM (#4198748)
Who tanked the economy?

George Bush--for implementing so many top end rate cuts that drove demand for new financial products higher and higher.

Allan Greenspan--for not deflating the housing bubble when he had the opportunity (this is not all his fault, as the measures to deflate housing were also available to Congress).

Bank presidents of the largest banks--for asking for zero accountability from their traders and accepting a culture that someone who was making money was beyond reproach.

Individual traders--guys like 'Fabulous Fab' who knowingly created portfolios of toxic assets and marketed them as otherwise

Somewhere down the list is the repeal of Glass-Steagall. First of all, Glass-Steagall was going to be repealed at one point or another. Second of all, a lot of the excesses were done at places without a commercial branch. Bear Stearns and AIG were not commercial banks.
   171. zonk Posted: August 02, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4198751)
Rasmussen demonstrably leans GOP. That's not really an opinion any more. It's just the fact of their process. If you want something useful, check poll of polls and Nate Silver. If you're looking for a result that caters to your existing bias, look for Rasmussen or whatever the Dem version of Rasmussen is.


They're very clever about it, though...

Not forgetting the common caveat that polls are NOT supposed intended as predictive this far out especially -- if you track Rassmussen's polling and especially, sample composition over time in a cycle, you'll notice that as we get closer to the election -- they tend to merge with the numbers from other outfits.

For example - their early polling of the WI Senate race had Thompson walloping Baldwin by something on the order of 20 points... now? They've come back in line with other polling that shows a single digit race and THompson fading fast, even in the primary.

Rassmussen is a narrative setting pollster -- they really ought to be ignored until you get closer to the election and no longer have a narrative to weave.
   172. zonk Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4198763)
Back to Mitt for a moment...

I was impressed at the speed in which he etch-a-sketched his 'culture' comments not once, but twice. First, he tells Fox News that he was being 'misquoted' and he meant 'nothing' about Palestinian culture... However, at the same time - Gingrich, Santorum, and large swaths of the GOP media -- Jennifer Rubin in the WaPo had a just darling post about Mitt "not being a standard politician and speaking his mind even if it's impolitic" that ran almost exactly as Mitt was completely disavowing his statements -- are bellowing 'damn right!' regarding the initial statements... so Mitt whipsaws back to 'culture'.

Now, the author of one of the books Mitt claims inspired his stance says:

“That is so different from what my book actually says that I have to doubt whether Mr. Romney read it.”
   173. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4198765)
Who tanked the economy?


I've made my position on private central banks and high-ratio fractional reserve banking known on several posts, but it always gets poo pooed or shouted down vociferously. I wasn't suggesting Clinton was ultimately reasponsible for the crisis, but if we're all wearing blinders and only limiting our criticism to individual actors in the currect system, and not the system itself, Clinton's all I got. I suppose criticism of Kissinger falls outside of the statute of limitations.
   174. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4198770)
I've made my position on private central banks and high-ratio fractional reserve banking known on several posts, but it always gets poo pooed or shouted down vociferously. I wasn't suggesting Clinton was ultimately reasponsible for the crisis, but if we're all wearing blinders and only limiting our criticism to individual actors in the currect system, and not the system itself, Clinton's all I got. I suppose criticism of Kissinger falls outside of the statute of limitations.


I don't know this critique you speak of in the first sentence. Please summarize?
   175. Lassus Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4198775)
but if we're all wearing blinders and only limiting our criticism to individual actors in the currect system, and not the system itself, Clinton's all I got

I assume by "all" you mean tshipman (he contains multitudes?), because who else could be interpreted as wearing blinders since this topic started?

I don't understand this. A bunch of people on the left here agreed with you and it pissed you off MORE?
   176. booond Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4198786)
Rassmussen is a narrative setting pollster -- they really ought to be ignored until you get closer to the election and no longer have a narrative to weave.


That's the PC way of saying they're cooking the numbers for their side until they have to come clean when people mark the final score.
   177. tshipman Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4198790)
I don't know this critique you speak of in the first sentence. Please summarize?


Rants is a goldbug. Except he's not totally, because he has no problem with fractional reserve banking, just doesn't like it with low reserve requirements.



Re: Blinders:

It's become fashionable on the left to blame a lot of stuff on not having Glass-Steagall. I think that in the best case scenario, all G-S does is delay things a year or two. The fundamentals led themselves to eventual failure.
   178. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4198797)
Rants is a goldbug. Except he's not totally, because he has no problem with fractional reserve banking, just doesn't like it with low reserve requirements.


Huh.

It's become fashionable on the left to blame a lot of stuff on not having Glass-Steagall. I think that in the best case scenario, all G-S does is delay things a year or two. The fundamentals led themselves to eventual failure.


The problem was systemic. G-S was a symptom of the systemic problem. It contributed to the overall system failure, but at the end of the day it was pneumonia sitting on top of an HIV infection run riot.
   179. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4198802)
I never really understood the underlying theory of goldbuggery. "We have to back up our money with a rock! From the ground!!" Makes no sense to me. Money is a simulacra. Doesn't matter if it's backed by rocks or semi-precious metals or the flaming goodwill of the benevolent gas troll that lives in the heart of the sun.
   180. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4198808)
It's become fashionable on the left to blame a lot of stuff on not having Glass-Steagall.


Speaking for myself I was using G-S repeal as a short hand for a bunch of things that Clinton did inthe name of "Market Reforms" that have turned out to be bad ideas*, or at least much less good than were advertised. It was a bit lazy of me.

All that being said I am still shocked by the degree to which Bush just fled the field after the 2008 election.

* To be fair many of these ideas I agreed with at the time, but history has not been kind to many of them. Allowing consolidation of both media companies and consolidation of financial companies has been terrible in retrospect, but much of it was perhaps inevitable.

   181. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4198809)
Lassus and Rickey, I have criticized the Federal Reserve in the past and been shouted down by Primates on both sides of the political spectrum. I have criticized abandoning the gold standard (which is fundamentally a control on reserve ratios) and been called a Luddite. I wasn't directing the attitude at anyone in particular, just the strange belief people have that makes them think the self-interested megalomaniacs that run our economy care about anything more than how much money they can make at any cost.

Private central banking is the scrourge of the earth, and there is no rational, honest defense for it in free society. The Federal Reserve is a private institution that charges the US government interest to add currency to the money supply, which is a completely unecessary step, and only serves to enrich bankers. I think any of the tired arguments of how a private central bank "stabilizes the economy" can now be thrown out, given the world economy is literally imploding day by day.
   182. tshipman Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4198814)
I don't know this critique you speak of in the first sentence. Please summarize?


Lassus and Rickey, I have criticized the Federal Reserve in the past and been shouted down by Primates on both sides of the political spectrum. I have criticized abandoning the gold standard (which is fundamentally a control on reserve ratios) and been called a Luddite. I wasn't directing the attitude at anyone in particular, just the strange belief people have that makes them think the self-interested megalomaniacs that run our economy care about anything more than how much money they can make at any cost.

Private central banking is the scrourge of the earth, and there is no rational, honest defense for it in free society. The Federal Reserve is a private institution that charges the US government interest to add currency to the money supply, which is a completely unecessary step, and only serves to enrich bankers. I think any of the tired arguments of how a private central bank "stabilizes the economy" can now be thrown out, given the world economy is literally imploding day by day.


This is your fault, Sam.


Speaking for myself I was using G-S repeal as a short hand for a bunch of things that Clinton did inthe name of "Market Reforms" that have turned out to be bad ideas*, or at least much less good than were advertised. It was a bit lazy of me.


Yeah, again, I feel like a lot of these things were inevitable and ended up not mattering. The myth and cult of hedging would have existed if Citigroup and JP Morgan still had separate investment houses. Again, all the big failures were not commercial banks. AIG was TBTF all by itself.
   183. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4198816)
All that being said I am still shocked by the degree to which Bush just fled the field after the 2008 election.


He was a two term POTUS whose brand was absolutely toxic nationally. For his party to have any chance of rebounding they had to pretend he didn't exist, and he was personally fine with disappearing into Texas and clearing brush for a while. It's the accidents of history.
   184. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4198821)
"We have to back up our money with a rock! From the ground!!"


The theory, borne out by the last 5000 years of history, is that people everywhere in all cultures believe gold has an intrinsic value. During inflationary periods, the demand for and price of gold has always increased. Its supply will always be limited, because like any element with a relatively high atomic number, there is only so much of it in the entire universe, and it is expensive to extract and refine.

I think limited reserve ratios are needed to facilitate commerce. A bank does have to have some incentive to exist.
   185. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4198825)
Yeah, again, I feel like a lot of these things were inevitable and ended up not mattering.


It could be. The whole system that failed is so big and so complex, with so many dynamic feedback loops (with a large sprinkling of sociopaths out to make money by any means) than it is not clear what exactly caused the tipping point and which part of what was critical. It is probably unknowable.

Repealing G-S (and the rest) might have been symptoms. They might have been critical. They might have been unrelated. I lean towards the first and second, but it is more feeling than fact.

But at least we agree it is Sam's fault!
   186. zonk Posted: August 02, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4198827)
I never really understood the underlying theory of goldbuggery. "We have to back up our money with a rock! From the ground!!" Makes no sense to me. Money is a simulacra. Doesn't matter if it's backed by rocks or semi-precious metals or the flaming goodwill of the benevolent gas troll that lives in the heart of the sun.


I have the good fortune of a father that practices the fine art of goldbuggery - whenever I make this point, the response is that gold has a variety of practical uses, especially in electronics. When I then question precisely how valuable 'electronics' will be when the destined global currency market crash occurs and we're reduced to hunting/gathering, the discussion then usually degenerates into topics like the liberal mind control chip that was implanted in me in college, the brainwashing I endure at the hands of the liberal media, and the inconvenience of data. Then it really goes downhill.
   187. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4198831)
As one example of Clinton-era reforms that mattered, Rubin and Summers actively worked to prevent the regulation of derivatives markets as they were expanding in the late 90s.

I don't think there was anything inevitable about the financial deregulation of the 90s and 00s. It was likely to happen, perhaps, because the ideology of contemporary high finance had won over so many of the people who were supposed to be watchdogs, but that doesn't absolve them from blame or responsibility.
   188. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4198834)
Man, the CFMA feels so lonely and overlooked:

The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (CFMA) is United States federal legislation that officially ensured the deregulation of financial products known as over-the-counter derivatives. It was signed into law on December 21, 2000 by President Bill Clinton. It clarified the law so that most over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives transactions between “sophisticated parties” would not be regulated as “futures” under the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936 (CEA) or as “securities” under the federal securities laws. Instead, the major dealers of those products (banks and securities firms) would continue to have their dealings in OTC derivatives supervised by their federal regulators under general “safety and soundness” standards. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (CFTC) desire to have “Functional regulation” of the market was also rejected. Instead, the CFTC would continue to do “entity-based supervision of OTC derivatives dealers
   189. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4198835)
This is your fault, Sam.


What would be the alternative to private central banking?
   190. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4198842)
It was likely to happen, perhaps, because the ideology of contemporary high finance had won over so many of the people who were supposed to be watchdogs, but that doesn't absolve them from blame or responsibility.


Mmmm, regulatory capture. When the power of the government isn't checking the power of private capital, but instead is in bed with it, bad #### will happen. Every single time.
   191. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4198843)
And seriously, regardless of your economic philosophy, you should really watch Inside Job. I think we can all agree that there is no room for fraud and collusion in any financial system.
   192. tshipman Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4198844)
What would be the alternative to private central banking?


Poverty, famine and human misery.


As one example of Clinton-era reforms that mattered, Rubin and Summers actively worked to prevent the regulation of derivatives markets as they were expanding in the late 90s.

I don't think there was anything inevitable about the financial deregulation of the 90s and 00s. It was likely to happen, perhaps, because the ideology of contemporary high finance had won over so many of the people who were supposed to be watchdogs, but that doesn't absolve them from blame or responsibility.


Okay, so don't get me wrong, SOME of that stuff mattered. But everyone always picks on G-S, when it's not all that big of a deal (it's just easy to explain). It's not just Rubin/Summers though, it's also Greenspan, and quite literally every single bank executive and most independent economists. Derivatives were a tool to manage risk--not a profit center initially.

You can look back and say, yeah, we missed that one. However, the real time it became clear that there needed to be much more regulation in that market was 2004-2005. Elliot Spitzer was one of the guys championing that. How'd that work out for him?
   193. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4198850)
Poverty, famine and human misery.


I recall from childhood that a recurring skit on Hee-Haw featured a song with this line ...
   194. Swedish Chef Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4198851)
Anchoring the value of money to something is a nice idea, but gold can't possibly work any more. It barely worked in the 19th century, and now the gold market is tiny compared to the thing it is supposed to anchor. It can't possibly contain any economic instabilities by changes in the supply of gold.

What it will do, is to enormously reward people who have invested in gold and gold mines, for no particular good reason. Also, it will give union leaders of miners in gold mines roughly the same power as a central banker as they can control the supply of gold.
   195. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4198853)
Rasmussen has been disputed a number of times for being right-leaning. Make your own judgments, but they certainly have critics.

People claim Rasmussen is "right-leaning" but his projections have been almost dead on for three or four straight elections. "Right-leaning" or not, I trust Rasmussen a lot more than I trust these other polls that are deliberately way over-sampling Dems.

***
The national polls are tight because deep red states have a lot of very agitated GOP voters who will show up in numbers, while deep blue states are very blase about Obama and won't turn out in as big of numbers.

This is untrue. The vast majority of polls have been registered voters rather than likely voters. Voter enthusiasm won't be reflected in the polling until pollsters switch to sampling likely voters.

If you're a GOP partisan (hi Joe) and you think you're in a good position to win 2012, you're setting yourself up for some serious disappointment.

I've classified Romney as a "very slight favorite." No one said anything about "good position to win." This campaign is going to be cutthroat and it's liable to come down to a coin toss, like Florida in 2000.

The DREAM act is popular among voters/citizens. It has little support in DC, because there's no natural constituency/voter bloc to pull that would incent a pol to support it. It's like prison reform; it's clearly the right thing to do, but the system is full of warped incentives that make "the right thing" always subservient to "the thing that will get me X more votes."

So Dream is popular among voters, but politicians won't vote for it because ... it's not popular among voters? The prison-reform example is much more apt. Like with prison reform, Dream might be the right thing to do, but politicians don't move on it precisely because voters generally don't give a rat's tail about the issue, while a portion of voters are highly antagonistic.
   196. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4198855)
What would be the alternative to private central banking?


What Canada had from 1935 to 1974, when we punched way above our weight in WWII, increased our standard of living dramatically by building the Trans-Canada Highway, the St. Lawrence Seaway, and did massive urban renewal projects with Federal dollars, enacted Medicare, Old Age Security and the Canada Pension Plan. All of these projects with practically no debt. When a government responsibly pumps currency into the money supply by financing infrastructure projects and programs that increase quality of life, everybody wins. The influx of currency does not cause inflation because it is used to create actual value in the economy - real, productive private-sector jobs and a more efficient flow of goods, services and information. There are more goods, created through labour from our own resources with the assistance of capital, to go around and keep pace with the increasing money supply.

In 1974 Trudeau caved to international pressure and privatized the Bank of Canada. Its been downhill since. Now when the Federal gov't needs money, they have to borrow it from private bankers, and pay interest. Before they didn't even have to pay back the principal, but now they pay the principal, and interest, to rich bastards. And of course when the gov't makes the payments, its the taxpayer that has to finance it. Couple this with massive offshoring of manufacturing jobs, which takes away the nation's capacity to create value through labour, and the downward trend accelrates. Service jobs do not "create value" in the economic sense of the term.

How this exceedingly glaring contrast in the very nature of the two systems can be glossed over by people using "finanical stability" arguments is truly beyond me.
   197. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4198860)
I recall from childhood that a recurring skit on Hee-Haw featured a song with this line ...


"Doom, despair, and agony on me...
If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all,
Doom, despair and agony on me."
   198. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4198864)
How this exceedingly glaring contrast in the very nature of the two systems can be glossed over by people using "finanical stability" arguments is truly beyond me.


It sounds to me like the issue isn't the "centralized bank" portion of the program, or untying the currency from the rock in the ground, but the "private" portion of the program.
   199. Rants Mulliniks Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4198865)
Poverty, famine and human misery.


You mean whats happening right now shipman? There are 100 million Americans living in poverty or on the brink.
   200. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 02, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4198867)
Also, Obama's creeped past 70% in the EC, via Silver:
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