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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

OTP - March 2014: Russia denies calling shots in Ukraine’s Crimea standoff

Only Babe Ruth calls shots!

At a press conference for Kremlin-controlled media on Tuesday, Putin reiterated his position that Moscow has the right to use “all means” necessary to protect ethnic Russians and vital military assets in Ukraine, first among them the Black Sea fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

 

Bitter Mouse Posted: March 05, 2014 at 08:54 AM | 3254 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: lies, politics, war

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   901. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 11, 2014 at 07:43 PM (#4669856)
Now with 99% of precincts reported:
Name Party Votes Vote %
Jolly, David GOP 87,963 48%
Sink, Alex Dem 84,712 47%
Overby, Lucas Lib 8,776 5%

Again, not sure how they count this quick, but looks like Jolly is in.
   902. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 11, 2014 at 07:51 PM (#4669861)
With 100% of precincts reporting:
District Candidate Party % of Vote Vote Count
13th District
100.0% Reporting
D. Jolly GOP 48.5% 88,294
A. Sink Dem 46.6% 84,877
L. Overby Lib 4.8% 8,799

Not seeing the race actually called, so perhaps Florida has additional counting issues.
   903. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 11, 2014 at 07:52 PM (#4669863)
Called for Jolly.
   904. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 11, 2014 at 07:56 PM (#4669867)
Trivia about Sink: She may be half of the only husband-wife pairing to both lose gubernatorial races.
   905. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 07:57 PM (#4669869)
I lived in Memphis. Its mentions are well deserved. An awful, awful experience (and this was 30 years ago - I don't think it's gone uphill since then).


It certainly was crap 15-20 years ago. Food wasn't too bad.
   906. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 11, 2014 at 08:02 PM (#4669874)
Jolly margin about 2%, despite Libertarian candidate taking almost 5%. Pretty good result for a 1st time candidate running against a better known candidate who outspent him. Not exactly a landslide, but nothing to make Congressional Democrats feel better.
   907. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 11, 2014 at 08:11 PM (#4669878)
Pretty good result for a 1st time candidate running against a better known candidate who outspent him. Not exactly a landslide, but nothing to make Congressional Democrats feel better.


Man, you're a spin machine aren't you. Here's the Reps from Florida's 13th district to date:

William Lehman (D): 1973-1983
Connie Mack III (R): 1983-1989
Porter Goss (R): 1989-1993
Dan Miller (R): 1993-2003
Katherine Harris (R): 2003-2007
Vern Buchanan (R): 2007-2013
Bill Young (R): 2013-2013 (died in office)

So, a district that has been dead red GOP safe for 30 years, a district that swung GOP in the first Reagan midterm election, elects the GOP candidate again by a small margin and you see something projectable. You're precious, man.
   908. Jim Wisinski Posted: March 11, 2014 at 08:18 PM (#4669879)
Sam, the designation of 13th district has changed with each redistricting. The previous 10 years it was the 10th, the 10 before that the 8th, etc. Bill Young held the seat since 1971 and was re-elected with ease every time due to great popularity in the area. He always brought home a lot of federal money for local projects.
   909. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 11, 2014 at 08:20 PM (#4669880)
Sam, the designation of 13th district has changed with each redistricting. The previous 10 years it was the 10th, the 10 before that the 8th, etc. Bill Young held the seat since 1971 and was re-elected with ease every time due to great popularity in the area. He always brought home a lot of federal money for local projects.


Fair. Local input is always helpful. So, a district that's been GOP since 1971 is still GOP. This is not a belleweather event in either direction.
   910. Dr. Vaux Posted: March 11, 2014 at 08:22 PM (#4669881)
I keep thinking Andy is running as a Republican for the House of Representatives.
   911. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 11, 2014 at 08:32 PM (#4669884)
This is not a bellwether event in either direction.

I don't see how David Jolly's win can be seen as anything less than a moderate and encouraging plus for the Republicans. This race was always more extrapolatable than the usual special election. The canary in the coal mine may not be dead, but he's coughing.
   912. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 11, 2014 at 08:39 PM (#4669888)
I don't see how David Jolly's win can be seen as anything less than a moderate and encouraging plus for the Republicans.


How so? A Republican district remained Republican. The absence of a loss is a gain?
   913. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 11, 2014 at 08:39 PM (#4669889)
Pretty good result for a 1st time candidate running against a better known candidate who outspent him. Not exactly a landslide, but nothing to make Congressional Democrats feel better.

So, a district that has been dead red GOP safe for 30 years, a district that swung GOP in the first Reagan midterm election, elects the GOP candidate again by a small margin and you see something projectable. You're precious, man.

As # 908 has pointed out, Sam has "distinguished himself" once again. This is a District that Obama carried twice, and that the Democratic candidate, Alex Sink, carried in her unsuccessful 2010 race for Governor. The Democrats cleared the field for Sink, and poured in lots of resources, outspending the GOP. They don't do that if they don't think they can win. Bill Young won the district easily because he was personally popular, not because it was a GOP stronghold. Calling it "dead red GOP for 30 years" seriously misstates the facts, which Sam would know if he had followed the race at all, or merely read my prior posts.
   914. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 11, 2014 at 08:45 PM (#4669893)
A district that has been GOP for 40 years is held by the GOP. This is not a belleweather event.
   915. Mefisto Posted: March 11, 2014 at 08:46 PM (#4669895)
I don't see how David Jolly's win can be seen as anything less than a moderate and encouraging plus for the Republicans. This race was always more extrapolatable than the usual special election. The canary in the coal mine may not be dead, but he's coughing.


Agreed.
   916. Jim Wisinski Posted: March 11, 2014 at 08:51 PM (#4669898)
It is gerrymandered to be slightly Republican leaning overall (Romney and Scott being crap candidates is probably a good part of the reason that it went Democratic in 2010 and 2012) but it's not strongly so. I'm not sure that Democrats spending more overall made much of a difference though, the amount of money in the race was ridiculous and as Clapper himself noted previously the Republicans spent more than enough to saturate the market and get their message across.

I have no idea if the race means anything or not but the fun part is that everyone gets to do this all over again in 8 months! Whee! I expect it will be with a different Democratic candidate though, Sink has failed twice now and I can't imagine the party is going to favor her again.
   917. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 09:20 PM (#4669907)
I do think too much is made of special elections because there's not much going on, and the electorate does not look the same as the electorate in November, but this is an awful result for the Dems. Jolly was a pretty terrible candidate who was squabbling with the national GOP in a district Obama carried with the Dems outspending the GOP and Sink couldn't even beat him. Egads, there will be much tougher battles in November than this.
   918. zonk Posted: March 11, 2014 at 09:23 PM (#4669908)
I'll stand by what I said prior before the votes were counted in FL-13 -- we have the result:


4) Jolly wins by 1-to-5 -- Obvious inverse of #2... It's a pure toss-up district, and the GOP does better off-cycle than Presidential years.. Standard not good news for the Democrats and the GOP probably just needs to avoid shooting themselves in the foot between now and November to make good gains.

Sink was indeed well known due to he gubernatorial run -- but let's not pretend she was a great candidate (I mean, she lost to the human lizard known as Rick Scott). The money came out about even - once you add in the interest groups, pACs, etc... Sink outraised him -- but the national GOP poured in cash, and the Koch's PAC used it big-time to campaign against ACA.

Obama won it by less than 2 points, Jolly wins it by less than 2 points...

We know what we already knew...

1) Dem turnout suffers in non-Presidential years
2) The GOP has some effective cudgels to use against toss-up voters
3) The GOP has the advantage going into November


My hope was that Democratic turnout wouldn't suffer as much/there might be some rallying against the norm... didn't happen.

It's bad news for the Democrats, good news for the Republicans... simple as that... The silver lining is that it certainly wasn't by freak-out margins, it's ultimately still a GOP hold, etc.
   919. Tripon Posted: March 11, 2014 at 09:24 PM (#4669909)
Has anybody been following Vice's coverage of the Crimea situation? Great stuff by people who just want to get the word out of what's happening on the ground.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLw613M86o5o5zqF6WJR8zuC7Uwyv76h7R
   920. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 09:37 PM (#4669911)
I agree with everything in 918. Its bad, but its also within the margin of error, and its pretty clear the Dems GOTV effort sucks/is non-existant for non-Presidential elections.
   921. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 09:52 PM (#4669916)
Meanwhile, the disappearance of flight MH370 is just getting weirder and weirder:


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The missing Boeing 777 jetliner changed course over the sea, crossed Malaysia and reached the Strait of Malacca — hundreds of miles from its last position recorded by civilian authorities, Malaysian military officials said Tuesday, citing military radar data.

The development added confusion and mystery into what is emerging as one of most puzzling aviation incidents of recent time, and it has raised questions about why the Malaysia Airlines flight apparently was not transmitting signals detectable by civilian radar or sending distress calls after it turned back.

Many experts have been working on the assumption there was a catastrophic event on the flight — such as an explosion, engine failure, terrorist attack, extreme turbulence, pilot error or even suicide. The director of the CIA said in Washington that he still would not rule out terrorism.

Flight MH370, carrying 239 people, took off from Kuala Lumpur at 12:41 a.m. Saturday, bound for Beijing. Authorities initially said its last contact with ground controllers was less than an hour into the flight at a height of 35,000 feet, when the plane was somewhere between the east coast of Malaysia and Vietnam.

But local newspaper Berita Harian quoted Malaysia's air force chief, Gen. Rodzali Daud, as saying that radar at a military base had tracked the jet as it changed its course, with the final signal at 2:40 a.m. showing the plane to be near Pulau Perak at the northern approach to the Strait of Malacca, a busy waterway that separates the western coast of Malaysia and Indonesia's Sumatra island. It was flying slightly lower, at around 29,528 feet, he said.

"After that, the signal from the plane was lost," he was quoted as saying.

...

Also Tuesday, Malaysian and international police authorities said two people who boarded Flight MH370 with stolen passports were Iranians who had bought tickets to Europe, where they planning to migrate. Their presence on the flight had raised speculation of a possible terrorist link.

Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said investigators had determined one was a 19-year-old Iranian, Pouria Nourmohammadi Mehrdad. "We believe he is not likely to be a member of any terrorist group," Khalid said.

Interpol identified the second man as Seyed Mohammed Reza Delavar, a 29-year-old Iranian, and released an image of the two boarding at the same time. Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said the two men traveled to Malaysia on their Iranian passports, then apparently switched to their stolen Austrian and Italian documents.
   922. Lassus Posted: March 11, 2014 at 09:59 PM (#4669920)
This is not a belleweather event in either direction.

Bellwether, computer boy.
   923. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 11, 2014 at 10:13 PM (#4669925)
   924. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 11, 2014 at 10:28 PM (#4669933)
Bill Young won the district easily because he was personally popular, not because it was a GOP stronghold. Calling it "dead red GOP for 30 years" seriously misstates the facts

Bill Young won 21 consecutive races for his seat. During that stretch, the Democratic side got less than 35% of the vote 18 times. Young's closest-ever race saw him squeak in by a 13% margin. Alex Sink's 46.6% is the highest number for a Democrat in the district since the 1960s. Either party would kill for a seat this volatile and up for grabs.
   925. GregD Posted: March 11, 2014 at 10:39 PM (#4669935)
I think zonk is right:
1) in a good year, Dems would or at least could win the seat.
2) this isn't a good outcome
3) but local races are often shaped by local events, personalities, candidate strengths and weaknesses
and
4) the research doesn't show that special elections are good predictors of the future in the aggregate.

I'd say the same (with the dynamics reversed) if the Dems had won--it would be a good win but no reason to get cocky.

I do think it'll be a bad November for Team D, but I would think that even if Sink had snuck this out.
   926. Monty Posted: March 11, 2014 at 10:41 PM (#4669936)
its pretty clear the Dems GOTV effort sucks/is non-existant for non-Presidential elections.


BTW, if you want to be a millionaire in four years, here's all you have to do:

1) Move to a toss-up district in a toss-up state. I personally prefer Ohio to Florida, but I don't want to judge a whole state.

2) Spend some time working on your own get-out-the-vote machine for whichever side you choose.

3) On an off-year election, demonstrate that you can deliver votes. It doesn't have to be a lot of votes. These are very narrow margins, so if you can plausibly move the needle by 3-500 votes, that's enough to notice. You can do that with old-fashioned phone calls and van rentals.

4) Get to know the party bigwigs.

5) When the presidential election comes around, there's a lot of money being thrown around. So much money that there isn't really a sane way to spend all of it. Get some of that.
   927. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 11, 2014 at 10:58 PM (#4669940)
I agree with 925.

2014 will suck.
2016 will be much better for Team Blue.

Such is life in the big city I guess.
   928. zonk Posted: March 11, 2014 at 11:07 PM (#4669943)
BTW, if you want to be a millionaire in four years, here's all you have to do:

1) Move to a toss-up district in a toss-up state. I personally prefer Ohio to Florida, but I don't want to judge a whole state.

2) Spend some time working on your own get-out-the-vote machine for whichever side you choose.

3) On an off-year election, demonstrate that you can deliver votes. It doesn't have to be a lot of votes. These are very narrow margins, so if you can plausibly move the needle by 3-500 votes, that's enough to notice. You can do that with old-fashioned phone calls and van rentals.

4) Get to know the party bigwigs.

5) When the presidential election comes around, there's a lot of money being thrown around. So much money that there isn't really a sane way to spend all of it. Get some of that.


Ehhh... I don't think it's all that complicated -- the problem is that it just takes a lot of work, a lot of dedicated people not looking to just scam a buck, and that's about it.

The Obama operation did precisely this, but he (or rather, Plouffe, etc) hardly invented it. The Bush campaigns were likewise successful, just with a totally different toolset.

The Obama operation used highly sophisticated to microtarget specific demographic slices and maximize the right contact to those microslices.

The Bush operation was perhaps a bit cruder on the model side -- they knew they just needed to max out socons/religious affiliates -- but then, why do the microtargeting if you don't have to? Rove knew who he needed to get to the polls.

In both cases -- all the modeling and math in the world doesn't get you those votes... Having legions of dedicated -- largely unpaid or at least low-paid -- volunteers and foot soliders to do the person-to-person contact did.

The Obama operation was great at that -- I know from experience... they paired up people perfectly, sent you into exactly the right neighborhood, with exactly the right material, and trained volunteers to be less "campaign operative" and more "person to person".

Obviously, I had no experience with teh Bush campaign -- but from what I read, they did precisely the same thing... They had legions of volunteers that would attend Sunday services and adjunct church events and likewise -- do less the 'campaign operative' stuff and more 'person to person' contact.

The secret sauce isn't so secret -- you need people, lots of them, who are willing to basically do a lot of work for free, and while really believing in the product, don't sell it in a way that causes people to just tune it out as "politics".

As a comparison, I also volunteered a lot in the Dean campaign... the problem was that 1)the legions were smaller, 2)the legions were a lot more homogenous (i.e., we were largely 20something hipsters -- how in the world would we have any idea how to sell Dean into a Latino or AA neighborhood? We didn't), and I guess I'd also say that 3) we didn't really have any sense of who our good targets were... so we just scattershotted everyone and by and large, ended up just campaigning/politicking each other at meet-ups.

You want to make millions?

Don't do it by finding a way to directly target the voters... Find a way to build -- on the cheap -- the sort of boot leather army that is able to just transfer seamlessly from candidate to candidate in a way that mimics the buy-in the Obama, Bush II, etc volunteers demonstrated.
   929. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 11, 2014 at 11:26 PM (#4669951)
This is not a belleweather event.

Sam is the only person using that term in this thread -- my own analysis & Zonk's are pretty close -- but some did use that term early in the race:
“This is as close to a bellwether district as there is in the House,” said David Wasserman, the editor in charge of House races for The Cook Political Report. “If Democrats can’t do it with a great candidate like Alex Sink, they simply won’t be in a position to compete in 2014. That’s why this race is so critical for both sides, but especially for Democrats.”

At least the New York Times spelled it correctly.
   930. Shredder Posted: March 11, 2014 at 11:44 PM (#4669964)
Good thing for Clapper that Sink lost. Now he can change the subject and doesn't have to defend his patently ridiculous and evidence free assertion that Obama has never compromised with Republicans on anything. That was a close one!
   931. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:27 AM (#4669975)
A bit more on what the analysts were saying about FL-13 before election day - Roll Call's Stu Rothenberg: The Race Democrats Can't Afford To Lose:
It’s rare in politics that anything other than a presidential contest is viewed as a “must win” — but the special election in Florida’s 13th District falls into that category for Democrats. A loss in the competitive March 11 contest would almost certainly be regarded by dispassionate observers as a sign that President Barack Obama could constitute an albatross around the neck of his party’s nominees in November. And that could make it more difficult for Democratic candidates, campaign committees and interest groups to raise money and energize the grass roots.

Fundamentally, the district, left vacant by the death of longtime Republican Rep. C.W. Bill Young, looks competitive but has a slight Democratic tinge. Barack Obama carried it 52 percent to 48 percent in 2008, but he had a more narrow victory four years later, when he won 50 percent to 49 percent. But fundamentals are only a small part of the Democratic advantage in the district this year. Campaign-related factors should strongly benefit the Democrats, as well.
. . .
Given all of the advantages that Sink has — the district, her experience and proven electoral success, her money in the bank and her united party — and the problems the GOP nominee will face, shouldn’t the likely Democratic nominee be a clear favorite to win the special election, getting her party one seat closer to the majority in November?

The answer is “yes,” and if this seat had become open in 2006 or 2007, there is little doubt that Democrats would have been solid favorites to win. But the president’s weak poll numbers nationally and the problems associated with the launch of the health care law could undermine Sink’s obvious advantages, particularly in this Central Florida district, where 22 percent of residents are 65 or older. (Republican strategists believe that voters 65 and older could constitute close to 30 percent of the special-election electorate.)

If swing voters decide to use the special election as an opportunity to register their displeasure with the president or punish Sink because she is a member of Obama’s party, the eventual Republican nominee’s prospects could rise. And Democrats are worried that the composition of the special-election electorate will make the contest more challenging for their nominee than it would be in a regularly scheduled election.

Still, all things being equal, Sink has enough advantages to produce a narrow but clear victory. So, while a victory would constitute a takeover and give her party’s talking heads an opportunity to demonize the Republicans in Congress once again, it would not be surprising.

On the other hand, since most nonpartisan handicappers and analysts have for years expected this seat to go Democratic when it became open, a Republican victory in March would likely say something about the national political environment and the inclination of district voters to send a message of dissatisfaction about the president. And that possibility should worry the White House.

Last paragraph pretty much sums it up.
   932. GregD Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:44 AM (#4669979)
I do believe the White House should be concerned. I don't believe in the concept of must wins for either side. The must-win game is the big one in November.
   933. Monty Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:58 AM (#4669980)
I think the Democrats should make a bigger deal out of this than the Republicans. It's never too early to start panicking the base to drum up donations.
   934. tshipman Posted: March 12, 2014 at 12:59 AM (#4669981)
I think Clapper is overstating it, but it is a good solid win for Republicans.

Special elections are always tricky, but there was enough money that it should be less of an issue than usual.

I think this might be underrated, but I think it will be more effective to run against Obamacare in states that did not expand Medicaid. In that sense, I think that Florida represented an additional disadvantage, in addition to the special election and the off-year situation.

Ds should be concerned with the the new normal of poor turnout in off cycle years.
   935. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:24 AM (#4669986)
most nonpartisan handicappers and analysts have for years expected this seat to go Democratic when it became open

Again (#924), the district hasn't gone Democratic since the Beatles started growing beards. It hasn't come close. It hasn't come close to coming close. Once in the last four decades, it came close to coming close to coming close. These supposed handicappers must have had their eyes fixed on this pluckable seat for a looooong time.

49% of the voters were against the actual Obama in late 2012, but 48.5% were "sending him a message" in early 2014? Even Stu Rothenberg doesn't go that far. He says it's a "possibility" that they were going to. A possibility of their "inclination." And that this election was going to "say something" about that possibility of an inclination. Well, it would "likely" say that.

One more qualifier, and I could sign onto Stu's analysis. Or at least I'd strongly consider doing so.

In any event, this devastating "must win" loss has sent the Dems reeling. Yet it would be just as easy to describe it as the worst Republican scare in most voters' lifetimes. Both claims are overblown. But the reality-- that the win indicates this Republican strategy is likely to produce some positive effect around the margins of a couple of dozen competitive elections-- is far too dull to spin.
   936. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:38 AM (#4669990)

Thanks to Gonfalon for unskewing yesterday's big GOP win in FL-13.

In other news, this seems rather huge:

ObamaCare's Secret Mandate Exemption: HHS quietly repeals the individual purchase rule for two more years

ObamaCare's implementers continue to roam the battlefield and shoot their own wounded, and the latest casualty is the core of the Affordable Care Act—the individual mandate. To wit, last week the Administration quietly excused millions of people from the requirement to purchase health insurance or else pay a tax penalty.

This latest political reconstruction has received zero media notice, and the Health and Human Services Department didn't think the details were worth discussing in a conference call, press materials or fact sheet. Instead, the mandate suspension was buried in an unrelated rule that was meant to preserve some health plans that don't comply with ObamaCare benefit and redistribution mandates. Our sources only noticed the change this week.

That seven-page technical bulletin includes a paragraph and footnote that casually mention that a rule in a separate December 2013 bulletin would be extended for two more years, until 2016. Lo and behold, it turns out this second rule, which was supposed to last for only a year, allows Americans whose coverage was cancelled to opt out of the mandate altogether.
But amid the post-rollout political backlash, last week the agency created a new category: Now all you need to do is fill out a form attesting that your plan was cancelled and that you "believe that the plan options available in the [ObamaCare] Marketplace in your area are more expensive than your cancelled health insurance policy" or "you consider other available policies unaffordable."

This lax standard—no formula or hard test beyond a person's belief—at least ostensibly requires proof such as an insurer termination notice. But people can also qualify for hardships for the unspecified nonreason that "you experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance," which only requires "documentation if possible." And yet another waiver is available to those who say they are merely unable to afford coverage, regardless of their prior insurance. In a word, these shifting legal benchmarks offer an exemption to everyone who conceivably wants one.
   937. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 12, 2014 at 01:53 AM (#4669992)
Thanks to Gonfalon for unskewing yesterday's big GOP win in FL-13.

Unskew your own head, dummkopf. But not before reading post #911.

You, trying to use "unskew" as an insult? What's next, Justin Bieber calling someone a douche?

I think this election is a bad omen for the Democrats, not that they've had many good ones-- but I also think that one party going 22 for 22 for the same House seat might also suggest something. Don't worry, Joe, that's just me. Nobody's forcing you to do nuance.
   938. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 12, 2014 at 02:06 AM (#4669996)
Unskew your own head, dummkopf. But not before reading post #911.

You, trying to use "unskew" as an insult? What's next, Justin Bieber calling someone a douche?

I think this election is a bad omen for the Democrats, not that they've had many good ones-- but I also think that one party going 22 for 22 for the same House seat might also suggest something. Don't worry, Joe, that's just me. Nobody's forcing you to do nuance.

Yikes, someone's extra grumpy tonight.

The 22-for-22 thing seems to reflect Young's popularity more than the district being a huge GOP stronghold, as seen by Obama winning there in 2012 and Sink winning there in 2010.

But, no matter. I'd rather celebrate discuss the (further) unraveling of the fiasco known as Obamacare.
   939. Monty Posted: March 12, 2014 at 02:16 AM (#4669998)
And yet another waiver is available to those who say they are merely unable to afford coverage, regardless of their prior insurance.


Sweet. I have been shockingly lax in signing up. How do I get one of these waivers?
   940. greenback calls it soccer Posted: March 12, 2014 at 02:23 AM (#4669999)
Yikes, someone's extra grumpy tonight.

Call him a tribalist.
   941. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 12, 2014 at 02:44 AM (#4670006)
Yikes, someone's extra grumpy tonight.

Dopey makes me grumpy.
   942. zonk Posted: March 12, 2014 at 03:05 AM (#4670008)
I do believe the White House should be concerned. I don't believe in the concept of must wins for either side. The must-win game is the big one in November.


Eh...

Basically, this means that any slim hope the Dems might have at flipping the House isn't even within the realm of possibility... I mean - given the few number of competitive House seats, the dynamics of an off-cycle elections, the fact that the Democratic brand isn't really any more popular than the Republican brand, etc - it was always a triple-bank shot maybe single digit percent chance. If I were to maybe play the lottery and toss a sawbuck on bet getting 50 to 1 odds - I'd say this confirms what was already suspected... Don't even bother dreaming... it's not even a realistic raffle.

The Senate turf was always brutal regardless - if the Democrats keep the Senate, it was always going to be by just a seat or two.

Basically, I'd just say that any hopes of maybe expanding the map go by the wayside -- settle on firewalling 50 Senate seats...
   943. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 12, 2014 at 07:50 AM (#4670019)
Basically, I'd just say that any hopes of maybe expanding the map go by the wayside -- settle on firewalling 50 Senate seats...


I get what you are saying, but funny things happen and you try everywhere (50 state strategy and all). For expectations though, I agree with you. Of course I am on record for months now expecting 2014 to be terrible (politically - personally and professionally things are going great).

Obama needs to focus on getting people confirmed asap, and then do what he can the last few years of his time in office.

But, no matter. I'd rather celebrate the (further) unraveling of the fiasco known as Obamacare.


Clapper spent much of your time gone doing just that, but I'll tell him what I told you, it is not going anywhere. It is the law, and getting rid of it is much harder than stopping it. Stuff will happen around the margins, but basically learn to live with ACA, because it is here to stay.
   944. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 12, 2014 at 08:00 AM (#4670024)
   945. BrianBrianson Posted: March 12, 2014 at 08:43 AM (#4670033)
For authors who's thinking appears to consist of nothing but fallacies, they certainly seem to see everyone else as caught in logical fallacies. Classic case of the lady protesting too much.
   946. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 12, 2014 at 09:07 AM (#4670038)
Abraham Lincoln would never have gone on a comedy show to promote health care, according to Fox News host Bill O'Reilly.


"All I can tell you is Abe Lincoln wouldn't have done it," he said. "There comes a point when serious times come for serious action."


And Obama is the one desperate? An Abe Lincoln shaming? Really?

On a more serious note, I really am not sure what to think regarding GMOs. I think it is a difficult and nuanced subject. History has taught us that science does not go backwards, genies don't go back in the bottle, that science can have terrible and unexpected consequences, that science almost always ends up benefiting humanity, is almost always is misused and causes harm to someone, and of course that no matter what the advance is there will be chicken littles screaming "this advance is doom!" - so far they have always been wrong, but it only takes once.

So yeah I am unsure regarding GMOs. I guess I err on the side of regulation and scrutiny, acknowledging a ban is not going to work and unfettered use is problematic.
   947. JE (Jason) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 09:12 AM (#4670043)
Clapper must have slept in this morning:
Mr. Obama's job approval ticked down to 41% in March from 43% in January, marking a new low. Some 54% disapproved of the job he is doing, matching a previous high from December, when the botched rollout of his signature health law played prominently in the news. The latest survey also showed the lowest-ever approval in Journal/NBC polling for Mr. Obama's handling of foreign policy.

The findings come amid dissatisfaction with all elected leaders in Washington and low regard for the Republican Party. Roughly a quarter of those polled view the GOP positively, with 45% harboring negative views, weaker numbers than for the Democratic Party.

Still, the GOP leads slightly when the public is asked which party should control Congress. ...

Mr. Obama's weakening position is due in part to slippage within his own party. The poll tallied his highest-ever disapproval rating from fellow Democrats, at 20%, a cause for concern for the party heading into midterm elections that often are defined by which side turns out its base. In particular, Mr. Obama's support is softening among blacks, Hispanics and women.

Despite those signs of erosion for the president, Mr. Obama still doesn't engender the same levels of disapproval that his predecessor, George W. Bush, garnered at this point in his presidency. And Mr. Obama's support among women, particularly white women, as of now is strong enough to create a bulwark against GOP gains in the midterms.

While left-wing immigrant advocates are increasingly frustrated with the "Deportation President," it's not having nearly as big an issue for Obama as W had with his right flank as a result of the Harriet Miers controversy.
   948. BrianBrianson Posted: March 12, 2014 at 09:57 AM (#4670073)
Damn bitter mouse, what a dyed-in-the-wool centrist position! How did you like being on Funny-or-Die?

(err, obviously one ought to be careful with GMOs, as anything else, but that paper assumes what it needs to to come to the answer the authors transparently want. Selected bred has no risk of catastrophe because ... uh ... we don't want it to. Ignore that e.g., Pototoes were selectively bred then blighted, because that's inconvenient to our conclusion. Monocrop failures are catastrophic, so let's assume GMOs will be monocrops, and selectively bred ones won't be, because that furthers our conclusions. GMO engineers won't be able to adapt organisms over time, because that'll make bigger catastrophes.)
   949. GregD Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:00 AM (#4670075)
"All I can tell you is Abe Lincoln wouldn't have done it," he said. "There comes a point when serious times come for serious action."
If there's one thing we know about Abraham Lincoln it is that he hated comedy and he despised popular culture. You could literally never get that guy to go to a show
   950. Shredder Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:02 AM (#4670077)
Jason only likes the polls that he likes.
Less than eight months before the November midterm elections, Americans are evenly split, with 48 percent approving of Obama’s job performance, up from 42 percent in December -- the biggest positive change of his presidency, according to a Bloomberg National Poll. He’s also registering an improved favorability rating at 49 percent, the highest since last June.
   951. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4670082)
That poll is skewed.
   952. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:09 AM (#4670084)
It's not entirely accurate to say that Obama carried the district in 2012- He may have, he carried the 10th in 2012, but the 2012 10th and the 2014 13th do not overlap 100%, it's also got part of the old 9th, which was R leaning and did not go for Obama - of course I have no idea which way the old 9th neighborhoods which are now in the 13th voted.

Other than that it looks good for the GOP, not Scott Brown good (I don't care how bad a candidate Coakley was supposed to be, the Dems only lose THAT seat in a major wave year environment- hell Brown later lost it with approval ratings that usually guarantee the incumbent is re-elected)

A bit more on what the analysts were saying about FL-13 before election day -


Now that should make Dems feel better, the MSM's election pundits and analysts make the MSM's baseball columnists look good.
   953. JE (Jason) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:11 AM (#4670085)
Jason only likes the polls that he likes.

1. Judging by recent polling, Bloomberg appears more of an outlier than NBC/WSJ.
2. I read the WSJ pretty much every morning. In contrast, I've yet to read Bloomberg on the can.
3. My overall point was that Obama's numbers are unlikely to sink much further absent a Harriet Miers-type moment.
   954. GregD Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4670089)
Interesting Edsall piece on Democrats and the white working class, which sometimes gets talked about here. Takeaways are not surprising but interesting (overly broad summary): 1) numbers entirely different if you separate the south, 2) white working-class outside of the south are losing their antagonism to Democrats as they lose their opposition to gap marriage, 3) white working-class voters are nevertheless going to be a tough slog since they are more conservative than overall voters on many issues and more suspicious of government, 4) the resistance to affirmative action remains a stumbling block, the default reason non-Dem white working class voters give for their opposition

It's not entirely accurate to say that Obama carried the district in 2012- He may have, he carried the 10th in 2012, but the 2012 10th and the 2014 13th do not overlap 100%, it's also got part of the old 9th, which was R leaning and did not go for Obama - of course I have no idea which way the old 9th neighborhoods which are now in the 13th voted.
This is an interesting question and it's one that someone should be answering in the media since it is a knowable question. Election results can be found to the precinct level so it would just take a little work. It wouldn't change that much if it turned out that Obama narrowly lost the confines of the present-day 13th district but it would be interesting to know. I still think the #1 difference between 2012 and 2014 is not going to be the overall view of Obama but the difference in turnout. The electorate could like Obama as much as it did in 2012 and the Dems still get clobbered.
   955. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:20 AM (#4670092)
Apparently there was more polling than usual for an individual house seat, 2 in early February had Sink up by 7 & 9 points (with large numbers of undecideds)

there were multiple polls the last 2 weeks, all showing Jolly up, by anywhere from 2 to 5 points-
so it definitely appears there was strong movement to Jolly the past month- that the pundits missed (haven't learned from 2012 have they?)
   956. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4670095)
Clapper must have slept in this morning:
Mr. Obama's job approval ticked down to 41% in March from 43% in January, marking a new low.


Simultaneously Bloomberg has Obama hitting his highest point in months and announces he's rebounding
   957. JE (Jason) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4670098)
4) the resistance to affirmative action remains a stumbling block, the default reason non-Dem white working class voters give for their opposition

Hey, maybe the DNC should show the white working-class voters this recent article, written by the Baseball Crank: Why are nearly all the statewide Democratic candidates this year white?
   958. tshipman Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4670101)
3. My overall point was that Obama's numbers are unlikely to sink much further absent a Harriet Miers-type moment.


It's weird. Originally, I thought that O's numbers since October 2013 had a fair bit of upside potential. I no longer really think that.

O has lost support from Ds who were critical of the launch. Further, due to the nature of the Medicaid expansion, he will likely gain support in states where Ds are already up, and lose support in states controlled by R houses. It also appears that voters are not positive about expansion, just negative about not expanding. Amusingly, the exception appears to be KY, where McConnell is more vulnerable than he should be due to being the public face of opposition to ACA.

Domestically, the downturn in the economic numbers due to the weather (or just due to the economy! It's hard to say) seem to have negatively impacted O. More than 5 years on, no real recovery due to premature fiscal retrenchment. At some point, you would have to hope for catch-up growth.

If that happens before 2016, O will post huge numbers. If it never does, he will continue to post poor numbers.
   959. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4670103)
This is an interesting question and it's one that someone should be answering in the media since it is a knowable question.


It takes the type of quantitative work that most media pundits seem to have zero interest in or understanding of, they'd much rather shoot the breeze with their campaign contacts, and then weave whatever "nuggets" they get from that into their chosen narrative.
   960. GregD Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4670107)
Domestically, the downturn in the economic numbers due to the weather (or just due to the economy! It's hard to say) seem to have negatively impacted O. More than 5 years on, no real recovery due to premature fiscal retrenchment. At some point, you would have to hope for catch-up growth.

If that happens before 2016, O will post huge numbers. If it never does, he will continue to post poor numbers.
I think that's right.
   961. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4670111)
Mr. Obama's job approval ticked down to 41% in March from 43% in January, marking a new low.

Simultaneously Bloomberg has Obama hitting his highest point in months and announces he's rebounding


One of those polls is for Obama the weak Putin f*cktoy in mom jeans. The other poll measures Obama the ruthless tyrant who spits on the Constitution. The only problem is that we don't know which is which.
   962. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4670112)
3. My overall point was that Obama's numbers are unlikely to sink much further absent a Harriet Miers-type moment.


There's plenty of things that could sink him lower, his RCP aggregate is hovering around -8 to -12, he's been lower, other Presidents (Dubya cough Dubya) have been MUCH lower. (Bush was hovering around -15 and -20 at this point in 2006, and reached about -35 at the end)

What really can't get any lower is Congressional Approval, it's basically been hovering around -70 for 2.5 YEARS now
   963. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:44 AM (#4670115)
One of those polls is for Obama the weak Putin f*cktoy in mom jeans. The other poll measures Obama the ruthless tyrant who spits on the Constitution.


The Muslim mindset is many-faceted.
   964. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4670119)
Polls and elections come and go, but this trend seems only headed in one direction:

A Relentless Widening of Disparity in Wealth

What if inequality were to continue growing years or decades into the future? Say the richest 1 percent of the population amassed a quarter of the nation’s income, up from about a fifth today. What about half?

To believe Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics, this future is not just possible. It is likely.

In his bracing “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” which hit bookstores on Monday, Professor Piketty provides a fresh and sweeping analysis of the world’s economic history that puts into question many of our core beliefs about the organization of market economies.

His most startling news is that the belief that inequality will eventually stabilize and subside on its own, a long-held tenet of free market capitalism, is wrong. Rather, the economic forces concentrating more and more wealth into the hands of the fortunate few are almost sure to prevail for a very long time....

Profits account for the largest share of national income since the 1930s. The richest 10 percent of Americans take a larger slice of the economic pie than they did in 1913, at the peak of the Gilded Age.

This is not solely an American phenomenon. Across many other developed nations, the distribution of economic rewards in the 21st century is taking on decidedly 19th-century features.

In “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” Professor Piketty offers a general theory of capitalism that returns distribution to the center of the analysis. Branko Milanovic, an expert on the global distribution of income at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center, called it “one of the watershed books in economic thinking.”...
   965. GregD Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4670120)
Cillizzahas a decent round-up of opinion. And a reminder that the great recent streak in special elections was a series of Dem pickups in 2009-2010...that was bellwether to the worst Democratic election in the largest midterm seat swing in 70 years. I'm not going to go Slatepitch and say this is therefore good news for Dems, though. Whatever you thought about the midterms yesterday is still probably what you should think today. I thought it would be bad for the Dems and still do.
   966. JE (Jason) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4670125)
There's plenty of things that could sink him lower, his RCP aggregate is hovering around -8 to -12, he's been lower, other Presidents (Dubya cough Dubya) have been MUCH lower. (Bush was hovering around -15 and -20 at this point in 2006, and reached about -35 at the end)

Again, the Harriet Miers issue turned many in the conservative movement against W, which in turn saw his poor approval numbers become piss-poor. While independents have by and large turned against BO, most left-wingers are still on board.
   967. tshipman Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4670132)
Again, the Harriet Miers issue turned many in the conservative movement against W, which in turn saw his poor approval numbers become piss-poor. While independents have by and large turned against BO, most left-wingers are still on board.


You can't really compare Indys in the W era to Indys in the O era due to the large drop in party identification.
   968. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4670134)
Polls and elections come and go, but this trend seems only headed in one direction:

A Relentless Widening of Disparity in Wealth


Worst communist ever.
   969. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4670136)
Cillizzahas a decent round-up of opinion. And a reminder that the great recent streak in special elections was a series of Dem pickups in 2009-2010...that was bellwether to the worst Democratic election in the largest midterm seat swing in 70 years. I'm not going to go Slatepitch and say this is therefore good news for Dems, though. Whatever you thought about the midterms yesterday is still probably what you should think today. I thought it would be bad for the Dems and still do.


It was just a few months ago that the Dems took over the VA Governorship, AG office and the state senate, and maintained their exact numbers in the NJ legislature.
   970. GregD Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4670137)
You can't really compare Indys in the W era to Indys in the O era due to the large drop in party identification.
This is true but I think Jason is making a point separate from this. Against the idea that Obama has necessarily reached bottom, he is saying that GWB shows that it is possible in a second term for a president not only to lose independents but also his base. If I read Jason right, he is not predicting that this will happen. He is just saying the president's drop has come while he has sustained reasonable popularity among Dems. If he did something Miers-like to blow that up, he could fall much further.

The Huff Post aggregate poll graph shows Obama trending slightly up among independents since the low in November.
   971. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4670140)
Again, the Harriet Miers issue turned many in the conservative movement against W


Turned against W and towards what? He always polled well among conservatives, even when he was -35 overall and the economy in freefall. It's not like anyone in the "conservative movement" was going to turn Dem, plus the conservatives prevailed with respect to Miers-

his collapse in approval numbers had nothing to do with the conservative movement "turning" on him, he completely collapsed with everyone ELSE-
BY the end Dubya was polling worse with Dems than Obama does with Reps
BY the end Dubya was polling worse with Indys than Obama does

that's why he ended up at -35, you seem to be confusing him with his dad who really did seem to lose conservative support
   972. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4670141)
Polls and elections come and go, but this trend seems only headed in one direction:

A Relentless Widening of Disparity in Wealth


All you supporters of the common man can get on the protectionism bandwagon any time now.
   973. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4670142)
he is saying that GWB shows that it is possible in a second term for a president not only to lose independents but also his base.


But Dubya didn't LOSE his base (sure some were disenchanted a bit- the far left has been disenchanted with Obama since 2009) but he never lost them.

A President who actually loses his "base" likely goes to - 70 to -80 in approval polling,
   974. tshipman Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4670144)
This is true but I think Jason is making a point separate from this. Against the idea that Obama has necessarily reached bottom, he is saying that GWB shows that it is possible in a second term for a president not only to lose independents but also his base. If I read Jason right, he is not predicting that this will happen. He is just saying the president's drop has come while he has sustained reasonable popularity among Dems. If he did something Miers-like to blow that up, he could fall much further.

The Huff Post aggregate poll graph shows Obama trending slightly up among independents since the low in November.


Oh, I see what you (and JE) mean. Yes, I agree. I would argue that the OCare launch was Miers-esque in how it discouraged weakly attached partisans, but was recovered fairly quickly (as these things go). Having a festering wound for six weeks is at least over when it's over. Edit: Miers was worse because it went to, Can we as conservatives trust Bush as a movement member?

The thing that really separates W from O at this point in their respective terms is Iraq, of course.
   975. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4670145)
All you supporters of the common man can get on the protectionism bandwagon any time now.


That wouldn't help the "common man" nearly as much as a strong labor movement would.
   976. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4670147)
That wouldn't help the "common man" nearly as much as a strong labor movement would.

And a strong labor movement is impossible without protectionism. Globalization is putting relentless downward pressure on the wages of unskilled and semi-skilled labor in high income countries. When there's a line out the door for a $12/hr job, you can't have strong unions.

It's no coincidence that the labor movement gained strength in the US in an era of restricted trade and immigration.
   977. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:19 AM (#4670151)
Oh, I see what you (and JE) mean. Yes, I agree. I would argue that the OCare launch was Miers-esque in how it discouraged weakly attached partisans


Except:

1: The months after the Obamacare rollout is when Obama his his all time low (aggregate)
2: Dubya's job approval had been trending down from about March 2005 to October 2005, the downward trend was actually arrested from October through to January, then improved in January before beginning a downward spiral in February (which essentially never ended)

The polling evidence is that the Obamacare rollout negatively impacted Obama, but that the Miers imbroglio had no effect either way
   978. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4670153)

The question to be answered about Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave is this: whether or not it expresses a truth about chattel slavery as practiced in the American South before 1865 — and let us stipulate that it does — does it express the truth? In everything I have read about it, the assumption seems to be that it leaves nothing more to be said on the subject.

...

Our awareness of Mr. McQueen’s frankly stated political agenda cannot but affect our view of the supposed history that is supposedly repeating itself and may even cast doubt backwards on that history itself. If ever in slavery’s 250-year history in North America there were a kind master or a contented slave, as in the nature of things there must have been, here and there, we may be sure that Mr McQueen does not want us to hear about it. This, in turn, surely means that his view of the history of the American South is as partial and one-sided as that of the hated Gone With the Wind. That professional historians among others insist on calling such propaganda “truth” and “reality” and condemning anyone who suggests truth and reality might be more complicated than that is one measure of the politicization of historical scholarship in our time — to a level, perhaps, rivaling even that of film studies.

Of course, the withers of Professor Foner and his kind are unwrung by such a charge because they assume that all of history is political to begin with, a Marxist-Leninist war of exploiters against exploited that can only have one outcome as it can only have one “right” side. They don’t care that such a cartoonishly simple-minded view of the vast and fascinating sweep of the past cuts them off from learning anything from it that they don’t already know — just as it cuts off the movie audience, assumed to harbor similar prejudices themselves, from any acquaintance with historical “reality” not pre-certified as politically correct. Yes, there was much cruelty and hardship in the slave-owning South, as there has been in most of the rest of the world most of the time, and Mr. McQueen’s camera is all over that. But it strains ordinary credulity to suppose that there was nothing else.

...
   979. The Good Face Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4670155)
Polls and elections come and go, but this trend seems only headed in one direction:

A Relentless Widening of Disparity in Wealth

All you supporters of the common man can get on the protectionism bandwagon any time now.


The more you attempt to equalize material opportunities, the more meritocracy produces a caste system based on inborn ability. As long as the left fails to understand this, it's just another case of them pouring gasoline on the fire.
   980. GregD Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4670156)
I am pro-protectionism and have been for a long time. Of course as with anything, the devil is in the details. I am a Republican--an 1880 one. High tariffs to protect domestic industry, massive infrastructure building, nationalization of education funding and policy, and interventionist civil rights policy in the South. Albion Tourgee thought that Garfield's death was as big a blow to the country's future as Lincoln's. (While people assume that the Republicans abandoned black rights after the "compromise" of 1876, in fact they did not give much ground in that year; then the party turned to Garfield in 1880 as a reaction against Hayes' lack of commitment, and the party continued to push civil rights enforcement acts into the 1890s. Didn't win the fights but kept fighting for a decade and a half after 1876. That's why disfranchisement mattered so much to southern Democrats; it was the only way to get the Republicans to stop paying attention.)
   981. JE (Jason) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4670157)
Agreed, GregD (971).
   982. BrianBrianson Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4670158)
And yet, the Germans and the French have strong unions, without substantial protectionism. Protectionism doesn't help unless you're trying to set up a monopoly, you silly robber-baron.
   983. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:24 AM (#4670161)
It's no coincidence that the labor movement gained strength in the US in an era of restricted trade and immigration.


You have that backwards, the labor movement grew during a time of less restricted trade and unrestricted immigration (and also in the face of judiical/legal harassment and sometimes violent opposition)- when the labor unions gained political strength was when we had more restrictive trade and immigration laws.
   984. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4670162)
I am a Republican--an 1880 one.


That explains your fantastic sideburns.
   985. JE (Jason) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4670163)
IIRC, Bush's job approval numbers were one or two digits above 50% until Katrina.
   986. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4670166)
The more you attempt to equalize material opportunities, the more meritocracy produces a caste system based on inborn ability. As long as the left fails to understand this, it's just another case of them pouring gasoline on the fire.

Only because we structure the economy in a way that allows people to leverage and exploit those narrow skill gaps.

There is no reason, none, that a CEO should make 10 times what his senior execs make. He isn't even twice as skilled. The extra pay is simply rent seeking through control of puppet boards.

Likewise, there is no reason we should allow massive off-shoring and outsourcing to fatten corporate profits. If you want to sell your $750 iPhones and $150 Nikes in the USA, you have to make them here. Set the tariffs to equalize the cost differential. Why should Apple and Nike get a 75% profit margin instead of merely a 50% margin?
   987. JE (Jason) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4670167)
   988. GregD Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4670169)
If ever in slavery’s 250-year history in North America there were a kind master or a contented slave, as in the nature of things there must have been, here and there, we may be sure that Mr McQueen does not want us to hear about it. This, in turn, surely means that his view of the history of the American South is as partial and one-sided as that of the hated Gone With the Wind.
What's amusing about this is not just the false equivalency but the total misunderstanding of how anti-slavery writers wrote and how many--not all--historians have written about slavery.

Ex-slaves went to great lengths to say that the problem with slavery went far deeper than the problem of treatment; the problem was that they were property. That didn't change whether they were well treated or not. Almost every ex-slave memoir describes kind masters, not to say they made slavery bearable, but to say that kindness was irrelevant to the problem of slavery.

It was slaveowners who focused on treatment.

Now there have been historians who focus on treatment, but in reality Foner and most other historians emphasize exactly the point that Douglass et al raised years ago. The point of slavery was that it was terrible even if your individual treatment was good because 19th century people--including slaves--placed a huge value upon self-ownership, and slavery obviously denied that, whether one was treated well or not. They talked on and on about the problem of being property.

It is interesting that movies on slavery emphasize treatment much more than non-fiction books, and some of that could be a political stance but a lot of that I think is the camera's long love affair with portraying violence. But many memoirs didn't emphasize whippings; they emphasized the slave market because that most precisely captured what was wrong, to them, about slavery.
   989. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4670171)
You have that backwards, the labor movement grew during a time of less restricted trade and unrestricted immigration (and also in the face of judiical/legal harassment and sometimes violent opposition)- when the labor unions gained political strength was when we had more restrictive trade and immigration laws.

Unionization made very little headway until the 1930's, when immigration and trade crashed.

There was huge demand for unionization by workers before that, but they couldn't achieve much as long as there were waves of immigrants willing to work cheap, and break strikes.

Unionization really took off in the 1940's through 1960's when global competition was emaciated by the industrial devastation of WW2, and immigration was very low.
   990. JE (Jason) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4670172)
Gallup's Frank Newport, 18 October 2005:

Bad Mood, Harriet Miers, Hurricane Katrina, Satisfaction, Height

The interesting twist in the Miers situation is that Democrats have stayed above the fray so far, apparently enjoying the spectacle of Republicans arguing among themselves about her nomination. There has been much talk about conservative opposition to the Miers nomination, but our poll shows very predictable patterns of support for Senate confirmation: 61% of conservative Americans say the Senate should confirm her (21% say no), compared with 38% of moderates and 28% of liberals. The relative differences among these three groups are roughly in line with what we found for Roberts' nomination.

Should Bush perhaps withdraw Miers' nomination as a result of the firestorm of criticism? The public says no -- 46% feel Bush should continue to support her, while 36% say he should drop her nomination. Conservatives say Bush should continue to support Miers by a 55% to 26% margin -- a positive reaction to be sure, but hardly a unanimous endorsement.

The public's overall impression of Miers is quite mixed: 31% of Americans say they have a favorable impression of her, 26% unfavorable, and 43% don't yet have an opinion. Again, conservatives and Republicans are the most positive, but even they are not overwhelmingly so at this point.
   991. GregD Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4670173)
That explains your fantastic sideburns.
No! The beard guys were better. Arthur was the worst Republican president until Coolidge, maybe late Nixon.
   992. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4670175)
There is no reason, none, that a CEO should make 10 times what his senior execs make. He isn't even twice as skilled.

Sure there is. That one consenting adult and one consenting group of adults agreed upon that price. That's not just a reason, that's the best reason there is. What Apple and Nike choose to pay their CEOs is none of your business.

It's fun when your conception of law is simply "stuff I don't like." I may as well ask "Why do Catholics need so many fancy-pantsed churches to worship God? There is no reason, none, that they should be allowed to take up so much physical property that could be put to better use. Why do we even allow this?"

Of course, I wouldn't actually ask that, because I'm not an economic Puritan.
   993. The Good Face Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4670178)
Only because we structure the economy in a way that allows people to leverage and exploit those narrow skill gaps.


How should we "structure the economy" then? Serious question, because a statement like that begs more questions than it answers.

   994. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4670179)
Ex-slaves went to great lengths to say that the problem with slavery went far deeper than the problem of treatment; the problem was that they were property.


I find it amusing that some of the people saying slavery wasn't that bad are part of the same movement that accuse Obama of leading us into slavery.
   995. BrianBrianson Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4670183)
Unionization really took off in the 1940's through 1960's when global competition was emaciated by the industrial devastation of WW2


Yeah, but carpet bombing China and Indonesia is probably going to be looked upon poorly. Tariffs are more or less abandoned the world over because they really do make life worse for everyone. Costs go up for everyone, and only the living off the capital they already own types benefit. Better to buy Canadian Maple Syrup and sell them Florida oranges then try and grow sugar maples in Tennessee and orange trees in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Otherwise, you end up growing Bananas in Iceland and they cost you £2 a pound. Sure, the Bjork's cousin the banana farmer is doing already, but making a wage 20% higher
doesn't help when everything costs three times as much.
   996. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4670184)
Sure there is. That one consenting adult and one consenting group of adults agreed upon that price.


Sure. One consenting adult agreed with another consenting adult to split the value of the work of thousands of other non-consenting adults between themselves. LIBERTOPIA!
   997. The Good Face Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4670188)
Ex-slaves went to great lengths to say that the problem with slavery went far deeper than the problem of treatment; the problem was that they were property.


I find it amusing that some of the people saying slavery wasn't that bad are part of the same movement that accuse Obama of leading us into slavery.


Not me! Slavery was a terrible wrong, the H1B visa of its day.
   998. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4670189)
Only because we structure the economy in a way that allows people to leverage and exploit those narrow skill gaps.

How should we "structure the economy" then? Serious question, because a statement like that begs more questions than it answers.


Well currently we have a system where people with wealth and political power can use that wealth and power to oppress those without either. What we don't have is a system where people with physical strength and excellent jiu-jitsu skills can use that strength and skill to oppress those without either. Maybe the plutocrats need to be reminded that an army of lawyers won't keep them from an ass-whipping.
   999. BrianBrianson Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4670190)
How should we "structure the economy" then?


What did the 1940s-1960s have that we don't as far as econominc structure? A ninety-something percent marginal tax rate for the wealthy. That'll fund you what you need to build a middle class ;)

(In all seriousness, more than ~80% is probably too high)
   1000. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4670197)
How should we "structure the economy" then? Serious question, because a statement like that begs more questions than it answers.

Some thought starters:

High tariffs on goods and services from low wage countries, or countries that don't have similar or stronger environmental, labor, and consumer protections.

Require mutual funds to vote their shares actively, and appoint independent directors to company boards. Make it illegal for anyone to hold the positions of CEO and Chairman simultaneously. Allow only independent directors to vote on CEO compensation, and allow the CEO to have no say in independent director selection. Require the Stock Exchanges or debt holders to appoint the auditors for a corporation. Management has no say, and the auditors must be changed every 3 years.

Uber-strict anti-trust enforcement. No one is allowed to sustain more than 25% market share in any industry. In some industries, the threshold should be much lower; e.g. no bank should be allowed to have more than 5% of deposits.

Require corporations to dividend out 75% of their profits (it would be a deductible expense). If shareholders want to reinvest those profits, it must be an affirmative choice.

Tax all profits of hedge funds, private equity funds, etc. at the highest individual marginal rate.
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