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Sunday, September 02, 2012

OTP - September 2012 - Because it’s Labor Day after all

Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 02, 2012 at 01:22 PM | 8483 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   1. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4225138)
This is your new OTP thread, boys.
   2. BDC Posted: September 02, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4225147)
OK, great, but where's the hook? I need a story on the order of "Logan Morrison and Todd Akin form new think-tank for political gynecology" or something.
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 02, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4225149)
We've got a convention coming up. My thoughts before the fact.

1) This thing is gonna be neg-a-tive. The "tripod of lies" line they're trying out this week seems likely to come up, along with the obvious (Medicare! Medicare! Medicare! And Bain!).

2) None of the Democratic speakers look particularly exciting to me. There's definitely no Obama 2004 on the schedule. I expect Bill Clinton will kill it - he's Bill Clinton, after all - but everyone expects that anyway. I'm going to love Elizabeth Warren's speech, but so will the ~20% of the electorate who share most of my views. I'll be surprised if it's a huge hit, though we can all wishcast a little. I would have given Al Franken a good speaking slot, but he doesn't appear to be anywhere on the docket.

3) The 2004 election is looking like a better and better analogue. In 2004 at the DNC, after a couple days of red meat attacks for the base, Kerry tried super super hard to paint a portrait of himself as a willing soldier for the nation, it fell mostly flat. After smacking Obama around for a couple days, the Republicans tried to pivot to Romney as the Noblesse Oblige Business Lord who will return us to a better time in the past, and it was, I thought, about as unsuccessful as the scripted attacks had been successful. In 2004, the Republicans followed the mostly blah Dem convention with a cavalcade of negativisty, just destroying both Kerry's character and his policies. In the end, Americans were mostly just turned off, but the (relatively small) polling bump went the Republicans' way. Dems will be going for something similar.

4) As noted, Bush got only a small bounce, and Bush 2004 is a model for how to win a very close election. It involves Obama never being particularly clear of his opponent or confident in victory. I don't see much chance that Obama comes out of this week with a good lead.

5) So, after the conventions, it'll still mostly about the chance of exogenous shocks to the economy. So far, somehow, there haven't been any for 12 months. If there aren't any before the election, Obama's probably a favorite by a couple points. If a butterfly flaps its wings in Spain, though, this could quickly turn into a Republican sweep.

6) This is now no longer about the convention. Because Obama's playing small ball and looking for a small victory, you never know if a good debate for Romney or a misstep by Obama's campaign might turn this into a toss-up. In 2004, with the economy in better shape by a half-step or so, Kerry won the debates by a good margin and turned the race into a near-nailbiter. If something along those lines goes against Obama, it will create a true toss-up situation.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 02, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4225160)
If something along those lines goes against Obama, it will create a true toss-up situation.

It's already a toss-up. A candidate like Obama (inspiring figure with shitty track record) will always over-poll.

Look at the two Dinkins/Giuliani elections. Lot's of moderates/independents don't want to admit publicly they're going to bail on the first black "X", b/c he did a shitty job, but in the privacy of the voting booth, they'll bail away.
   5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 02, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4225162)
A candidate like Obama will always over-poll.
He's ran in two closely contested national elections, and he has yet to over-poll in either of them.
   6. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 02, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4225165)
A candidate like Obama will always over-poll.


What exactly do you mean by "like Obama"? His final vote total in 2008 was almost spot-on to what the polls were predicting.
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 02, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4225169)
Look at the two Dinkins/Giuliani elections. Lot's of moderates/independents don't want to admit publicly they're going to bail on the first black "X", b/c he did a shitty job, but in the privacy of the voting booth, they'll bail away.
The Wilder Effect did not appear in 2008. It appears that the Wilder Effect disappeared in the mid-1990s. See Daniel Hopkins, "No More Wilder Effect, Never a Whitman Effect":
The Wilder effect occupies an unusual position in our thinking about American elections, as it is often invoked (e.g., Elder 2007; Lanning 2005) but rarely scrutinized. By analyzing Senate and Gubernatorial elections between 1989 and 2006, this paper has provided the first large-sample test of the Wilder effect. In the early 1990s, there was a pronounced gap between polling and performance for black candidates of 3.2 percentage points under the model. But in the mid-1990s, that upward bias in telephone surveys became insignificant, falling by 2.3 percentage points. And it was nonexistent in the 2008 primaries and general election.
On Obama:
The 2008 Democratic presidential primaries renewed speculation about the Wilder effect, so as an additional test, we applied the same decision rules as above to collect up to three polls for each of the 33 U.S. states that held contested Democratic primaries. Doing so yields 87 observations of polled and actual support for Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, with other candidates excluded. The mean polling-performance gap was 1.4 percentage points for Senator Clinton and the reverse for Senator Obama. This estimated mean is not at all sensitive to particular polls or states: if we remove the observations for five randomly chosen states at a time, we still observe that Senator Obama’s election day performance was better than his polling on average in every one of the 10,000 simulations.
   8. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 02, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4225170)
I don't think he considers 2008 Obama to be a "candidate like Obama" in 2012, since he's now an incumbent with a supposedly uninspiring track record. The problem, as always, is that democrats are afraid to actually tout their track record. Passing the ACA should be a huge positive for Obama, but he's let the other side define it as socialized medicine. Passing the new CAFE standards should be a huge positive for Obama, but he won't even talk about it. Etc, etc, etc.
   9. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 02, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4225174)
I don't think he considers 2008 Obama to be a "candidate like Obama" in 2012, since he's now an incumbent with a supposedly uninspiring track record.


Fair enough. I'm just curious of what other examples he has besides Dinkins/Giuliani (and I'm also curious about a source for how much Dinkins under-performed his polls; not being a NYer, I don't have any recollection of how that result differed from expectations). I'm having a lot of trouble getting a feel for what a good analogy is for this race. I see the parallels to 2004 that MCoA raises, but I can also see some similarities to 1980 - which obviously broke decisively the other way. But neither one really feels exactly right. Given a lack of a good gut feel, my instinct is to trust the numbers, and Nate Silver says Obama's about a 2-to-1 favorite, so I guess I'll go with that as a default.
   10. tshipman Posted: September 02, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4225175)
In 2004, the Republicans followed the mostly blah Dem convention with a cavalcade of negativisty, just destroying both Kerry's character and his policies. In the end, Americans were mostly just turned off, but the (relatively small) polling bump went the Republicans' way. Dems will be going for something similar.


I'm not so sure you're right about this. The re-elect campaign has shown itself to focus heavily on door to door organization strategies and negative ads that they can keep Obama's fingerprints off of. In addition, the re-elect has focused to an incredible extent on female voters. Obama seems to see his coalition as minorities and white women with at least some college. Bush's coalition, by contrast, was made up much more of working class men. I don't think Obama will go massively negative in the convention, although I don't really think the conventions matter.

In 2004, with the economy in better shape by a half-step or so, Kerry won the debates by a good margin and turned the race into a near-nailbiter. If something along those lines goes against Obama, it will create a true toss-up situation.


Again, I think my view of the race is much more set in stone than your view. I don't see massive upside for Romney in this race. The only things that I think can really tip things are a huge supply shock, another terrorist attack or some kind of massive sex scandal in the Obama admin that tanks his personal likability numbers.
   11. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 02, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4225180)
Again, I think my view of the race is much more set in stone than your view. I don't see massive upside for Romney in this race. The only things that I think can really tip things are a huge supply shock, another terrorist attack or some kind of massive sex scandal in the Obama admin that tanks his personal likability numbers.
This is, to me, too economically deterministic. With a sample of so few elections, we don't have evidence that campaigns don't move votes of 1-3% of the population. The best-fit models still have a lot of wiggle room. It's a gap that could easily, and logically, be filled by campaign differences. I think that in elections as close as 2008, campaigns matter.
   12. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 02, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4225182)
I see the parallels to 2004 that MCoA raises, but I can also see some similarities to 1980
Look at GDP growth and unemployment in 1980. If we're in a full-blown recession come election day, Romney will win in a landslide (or the modern version of a landslide, maybe 5-8 points).
   13. tshipman Posted: September 02, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4225190)
It's a gap that could easily, and logically, be filled by campaign differences. I think that in elections as close as 2008, campaigns matter.


It's not that I disagree with this, but in a dynamic where both campaigns are trying hard, you have to really give a lot of credence to the ability of three debates to move a lot of ground. Both campaigns (Eastwood notwithstanding), are generally run in a competent way (although Romney seems to go off message at times). If anything, Obama has had the more effective advertisements (except maybe the Welfare ones, but those run real risks for Romney).

The only remaining non-scripted events are the debates, and I don't know that the debates can really shift public polling by 3 to four points. That's just a huge effect for three-six hours of TV that most people regard as medicine.
   14. booond Posted: September 02, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4225195)
What is important about the convention is the media spin. With the RNC it was Ryan's lies, Clint's senility and Mitt saying nothing. The DNC has to be about ideas and the future while portraying Mitt as having the same ideas as W. There is a possibility of getting a little daylight between them and Mitt.
   15. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 02, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4225196)
One of the many, many weird things about the conventions for me is having the candidates' spouses speaking in prominent roles.
Michelle Obama has spent the last four years basically saying "THIS woman's place is in the kitchen, in the garden, and in the gym."
In 2012, why is this still happening?
   16. Bob Tufts Posted: September 02, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4225204)
# 2 - I was hoping for some headline like "Amazon.com declares 'war on women' instead of another political thread.

A pox on all of them - please don't enocurage them via blog posts or contributions!

Perhaps someday we will get people that appeal to the better angels of our nature without having to focus group test the language. And as Baka said in "The Ten Commandments "this is not that day".
   17. rr Posted: September 02, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4225213)
Look at the two Dinkins/Giuliani elections


NY and the USA are two different animals, as are Obama and Dinkins, as well as Giuliani and Romney. I see it playing out like 2004, but being a little closer. I think a really good GOP candidate could beat Obama, but I have not seen much indication that Romney is that guy. I think Romney will need an outside event, as noted, to win.
   18. bobm Posted: September 02, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4225222)
Commentary
"The Dinkins Effect in the Presidential Race"
John Steele Gordon | @steelegordon
07.31.2012 - 12:45 PM ...

I think what I call the Dinkins effect is in operation. David Dinkins was the Democratic nominee for mayor of New York in 1989, having defeated three-term incumbent Ed Koch in the primary. His Republican opponent was Rudy Giuliani. The polls all showed Dinkins well ahead, but he won the race only narrowly. In 1993, there was the same match-up. The polls all showed Dinkins (who had a lousy record as mayor) as narrowly ahead. Giuliani won in a walk. The reason the polls were so wrong, I think, was because Dinkins is black and some people were simply unwilling to say, even to a pollster, they were voting against the black guy. Racism is nearly extinct in this country, but the fear of being thought racist is pervasive, and the willingness of some people on the left to play the race card apparent.

Could that be why President Obama has high ratings in polls asking about his “likeability”? My dislike of his politics probably clouds my judgment somewhat, but I don’t find him likeable at all. He’s arrogant, often mean-spirited, sometimes downright nasty. He avoids taking responsibility for failure but takes all the credit for success. He doesn’t have much of a sense of humor that I can see. He’s, well, chilly. I don’t like Bill Clinton’s politics much either, but I’m sure I’d have a great time having dinner with him some night. He may be left-of-center and more than a bit of a scoundrel in his personal life, but likeable he most certainly is. Obama, simply, is not.

Also, of course, a lot of people might be unwilling to admit they think they were sold a bills of goods in 2008 by a political flim-flam man. No one likes to admit they were cheated. So they say they’re voting for Obama but then won’t.


http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/07/31/the-dinkins-effect-in-the-presidential-race/
   19. Ron J Posted: September 02, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4225225)
From the previous thread:


WTF are we still doing in Afghanistan?

Pick the least abhorrent warlords, bribe them with enough guns and money, so we can stage SF in their areas when necessary, and get the eff out.


The problem from the political POV is that very shortly after the US leaves the Taliban will be back in control (to the extent that anybody controls the country that is, but they were in effective control before and I see it unlikely that things would play out any different). It's the kind of outcome that no decision maker is likely to find acceptable.

Just to be clear, I didn't think making war on the Taliban was a good idea from the get-go. And I think "declare victory and leave" is as good as it's likely to get. It'll be easier for a second term president to do this.
   20. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 02, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4225228)
Based solely on the excerpt quoted in #18, my issue with the "Dinkins effect" is that it apparently appeared in BOTH Dinkins/Giuliani races, the former of which would seem to line up just fine with the 2008 Presidential race (how could Dinkins qualify as an "inspiring figure with a shitty track record" before he even HAD a track record) and, as noted upthread, Obama's performance in the 2008 general election was perfectly in line with what polls were saying.
   21. rr Posted: September 02, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4225232)


http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/07/31/the-dinkins-effect-in-the-presidential-race/


Like I said, the USA isn't New York, and Obama isn't Dinkins. But I guess that evens it up for Hutcheson's link about the GOP convention in the last thread, which was about the same kind of piece: an emotional response to something couched in faux-logical language.
   22. rr Posted: September 02, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4225241)
The other point I would make is that a lot of people, according to the numbers, have already bailed on Obama. No numbers that I have seen showing him either holding the same Electoral map or getting the same percentage of the popular vote. 538 has Obama with 50.9 of the popular and shows him with a 91.6% chance of losing a least one state he carried in 2008, and with only a 21% chance of winning a state he lost last time.

   23. bobm Posted: September 02, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4225244)
From OTP - August:

[5968]. It was about on the same level as what Elizabeth Warren did in claiming that "Indian" ancestry when she was applying for her faculty position. On the one hand it's the sort of Little White Lie that is sadly all too commonplace among people who should know better, but on another level it could very well be a symptom of something worse. My opinion of Elizabeth Warren took a small nosedive when I heard about that bogus claim of hers, and when I read about a wildly bogus claim like Ryan's it's kind of hard not to wonder what other type of BS he spreads about himself whenever he thinks he can't be outed.

How is it on the same level? In their present campaigns, maybe on the surface. However, it's not at all clear that it did not help Warren get hired by UPenn and by Harvard. Did Ryan win his House seat by touting his marathon times?

The New York Post
"A recipe for trouble"
By HOWIE CARR
Last Updated: 5:04 AM, May 21, 2012 ...

The 62-year-old “Okie” (as the Native American emeritus now describes herself) began checking the box, as they say, back in 1984 — and her academic career immediately took off. The newly minted minority catapulted from the University of Texas to the Ivy League, first Penn (where her name was boldfaced in faculty directories to indicate her minority status) and then Harvard.

If Warren hadn’t decided to run for the Senate, she’d still be an Indian. But three weeks ago, it got out that Harvard had been bragging about her as a “minority” hire as far back as 1996. This led the newspapers to ask the New England Historic Genealogical Society to trace her roots. A day or so later, their top researcher reported finding a 2006 family online newsletter, that mentioned an 1894 application for a marriage license in Oklahoma that supposedly listed her great-great-great grandmother as a Cherokee. Thus, the one-thirty-second claim.

The next day, Warren’s greatest cheerleader, The Boston Globe, breathlessly announced that “an 1894 document” had been “unearthed.” Maybe she could have brazened it out — but then Warren stumbled into her own personal Little Big Horn.

In a press release, she touted both the supposed 1894 document and an obscure 1984 Indian cookbook, “Pow Wow Chow” (edited by her late cousin), as proof of her tribal origins.

Then a Breitbart researcher, Michael Patrick Leahy, called Logan County in Oklahoma, where the document would have been filed. The county clerk told him that in 1894 there was no such thing as a marriage-license application — only a license, with no box to check off for race.

Cherokee spokesmen called for her to release her law-school job applications, but Warren stonewalled. Asked why she had claimed Indian heritage, she cited an old photograph of her “papaw,” her grandfather, who “had high cheekbones, like all the Indians do.”
As for claiming Native American status in minority law-school directories, she said she’d done it simply in hope of being “invited to a luncheon . . . with people like me.” Right.

Then the Breitbart blogger got a copy of “Pow Wow Chow,” supposedly a compilation of “special recipes passed down through the Five Tribes families.”

Five recipes came from “Elizabeth Warren — Cherokee.” At least two were plagiarized — lifted verbatim from The New York Times. They’d been developed by “60-minute gourmet” Pierre Franey as chef at Le Pavillon, the mid-century center of haute cuisine in Manhattan.

One of them — for cold crab omelet — Franey wrote in 1979, was a particular favorite of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and composer Cole Porter. [Emphasis added]


http://m.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/recipe_for_trouble_FjE51f7qZJ9SUIZmF6pX1H
   24. Dan The Mediocre Posted: September 02, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4225250)
In all fairness to Elizabeth Warren, we don't have anything that even remotely resembles a comprehensive list of Native Americans. In our history pre-1900, we treated them with apathy at the best of times and antipathy at the worst. A lot of people descended from both Caucasians and Native Americans had a number of reasons to not identify themselves as Native American, with the only trace being a tradition passed on through the generations.

She might be claiming descent as part of a family tradition (and having a cousin that also claims it would be evidence of this) but that doesn't excuse her for the terrible evidence presented when pressed on it. She would have been better off just saying it was a part of her family tradition, and so she has always thought of that as part of herself.
   25. Greg K Posted: September 02, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4225255)
I tell people I'm half-Welsh/half-German...it's actually more of a unknown division of Welsh, Scottish, and English on that side...but Wales is a cooler place so I go with that. Though I'm not sure anyone's ever hired me because of it, or indeed cared when I've told them.
   26. OCF Posted: September 02, 2012 at 07:48 PM (#4225285)
Ah, ancestry. I was born and raised in Oklahoma, and there's was a very vague family mention of some microscopically small fraction of American Indian ancestry. Which would have had nothing to do with Oklahoma, since both my parents came from places well to the north or northeast of there. The only real evidence, if you want to call it that, is that multiple lines of my ancestry probably go back 8 to 10 generations within the U.S. (or what would become the U.S.) That far back, in the absence of documentation or tracing, who knows? And if you want to tell me that saying, "That far back, who knows?" opens up all sorts of other possibilities, then, yes, I'm aware of that. (And my DNA has not been tested.)

I grew up considering myself to be mostly English on my father's side and mostly German on my mother's side. It seems likely that my mother's side, although it certainly includes Germans, was more English than I realized. And some of what I'm calling German could be Dutch or Alsatian, and some of what I'm calling English could be Scottish. And of course, none of that really matters anyway.
   27. BDC Posted: September 02, 2012 at 08:09 PM (#4225291)
Well, lots of people claim or acknowledge various ancestry for various reason. I talk in certain contexts about being Slovak-American, but that's due to one grandparent (who was born in Chicago), and nobody's spoken Slovak in my family since her, and there's no legal status called "Slovak" in the US. For white Americans, this is all usually a big "So what," for sure. But for American Indians who are eligible or not for certain political status because of legal definitions of "blood quanta," this is a hugely important issue. You do not get to blithely call yourself Cherokee because your great-uncle used to live in Tahlequah.
   28. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: September 02, 2012 at 08:39 PM (#4225299)
My maternal grandmother's family -- at least 4 of 5 brothers & 1 (the grandmother in question) of 3 sisters -- picked up & moved from SW Arkansas to eastern Oklahoma around 1900 or a little later. (Presumably, one of them went first, found the pickings good or whatever, & told the rest there were livings to be made &/or land to be had. Everybody's been dead for decades, & the vast majority of those guys never procreated, so there's no one for me to get any sort of details from.)

The main thing they appear to have gotten out of it was several cases of tuberculosis, supposedly contracted from the Indians whose money the brothers (who tended to work at banks, apparently) handled, or so the stories went. And my grandmother got a husband, my grandfather -- a Jewish guy from the Philadelphia area. Though that lasted only till my mother was a couple of years old.

Growing up a few decades later back in SW Arkansas, I was one of the few kids who didn't claim any sort of Native American blood.
   29. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 02, 2012 at 10:40 PM (#4225339)
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/07/31/the-dinkins-effect-in-the-presidential-race/

Like I said, the USA isn't New York, and Obama isn't Dinkins. But I guess that evens it up for Hutcheson's link about the GOP convention in the last thread, which was about the same kind of piece: an emotional response to something couched in faux-logical language.
Again, this has been studied. We have data. The "Wilder Effect" has been shown to be statistically significant in the early 1990s, when Giuliani beat Dinkins. It has faded such that in the last decade, there has been no notable tendency of African-American candidates to underperform their polling numbers. It has nothing to do with New York - in the early 1990s, the effect appeared all over the place, and in the late 2000s, it appears nowhere. I don't know why this is the case, but whether it has to do with improved polling techniques, changes in feelings about race, generational shifts, or something else, the data is in. There has not been a Wilder Effect (or "Dinkins Effect") for many years.
   30. rr Posted: September 02, 2012 at 11:05 PM (#4225351)
Again, this has been studied.


I know. But my point was I am not sure that I would buy the comp anyway, even if there were no data, for obvious reasons. Presidential elections are different than other elections.
   31. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 02, 2012 at 11:05 PM (#4225352)
The only thing to say about that Commentary rant is to wonder how or why anyone would pay any attention to anything published in that Neocon rag to begin with. Everything in Commentary for about the past 45 years sounds as if it had been written by Portnoy's father while grunting and straining on the throne, and the above article is no exception.
   32. steagles Posted: September 03, 2012 at 12:10 AM (#4225367)
are any actual native americans upset by this, or is it just more kindling for the anti-affirmative action "derka derr" crowd?


because it seems to me that the people who are angriest about elizabeth warren (allegedly) taking advantage of affirmative action are the same people who are angry about the existence of affirmative action in the first place.


   33. RollingWave Posted: September 03, 2012 at 12:12 AM (#4225368)
Afganistan is one ugly pickle, I can see the worst case being far worse than the Taliban retaking power... the actual worse case is that it triggers a Pakistani / Indian nuclear war and also destablize Pakistan in general.

It's hard to think of how to actually fix Afganistan, it's a country that's in all reality, still in the medieval era. how do you get a country up to speed by about 500 years in a decade?

   34. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 03, 2012 at 12:40 AM (#4225375)
because it seems to me that the people who are angriest about elizabeth warren (allegedly) taking advantage of affirmative action are the same people who are angry about the existence of affirmative action in the first place.

There's no disconnect between the former and the latter. But for affirmative action and Warren's apparent fraudulent use thereof, she's liable to be some unknown professor somewhere.

It's sort of like the Lance Armstrong apologists who are saying it doesn't really matter if Armstrong cheated, because he's done a lot of good. But without the (alleged) ill-gotten fame, Armstrong likely never would have had the platform from which to do the good deeds.
   35. Curse of the Andino Posted: September 03, 2012 at 01:52 AM (#4225389)

3) The 2004 election is looking like a better and better analogue. In 2004 at the DNC, after a couple days of red meat attacks for the base, Kerry tried super super hard to paint a portrait of himself as a willing soldier for the nation, it fell mostly flat. After smacking Obama around for a couple days, the Republicans tried to pivot to Romney as the Noblesse Oblige Business Lord who will return us to a better time in the past, and it was, I thought, about as unsuccessful as the scripted attacks had been successful. In 2004, the Republicans followed the mostly blah Dem convention with a cavalcade of negativisty, just destroying both Kerry's character and his policies. In the end, Americans were mostly just turned off, but the (relatively small) polling bump went the Republicans' way. Dems will be going for something similar.


I'd agree with this, adding, Romney and the super-PACs have a huge money advantage over the incumbent, first time that's ever happened. I pity voters in swing states (like VA, PA, FL) for the amount of advertising they're gonna have to deal with. All signs point to really, really close votes, with the Republicans already doing all they can to keep Gary Johnson off the ballot. Romney has not yet tapped his warchest. He's about to.

Another thing Obama will not have going for his campaign this time is the youth turnout. They're not gonna vote for Romney, I suspect, but 26-year-old college grads living at home thanking god they can work 30 hrs a week in retail plus pick up a shift bartending are not, actually, as likely to show up for Obama in the numbers they did previously.
   36. Greg K Posted: September 03, 2012 at 03:35 AM (#4225395)
You know it's taken me a shocking amount of time in this thread to realize that Dinkins is black. I blame Seinfeld (my only previous knowledge of him) for not showing him on screen.

It's sort of like the Lance Armstrong apologists who are saying it doesn't really matter if Armstrong cheated, because he's done a lot of good. But without the (alleged) ill-gotten fame, Armstrong likely never would have had the platform from which to do the good deeds.

I don't really know much about Armstrong, except that I've never particularly liked him. But the second sentence doesn't seem to negate the first. Again, I'm not an Armstrong apologist, nor have I heard what the apologists are saying. But it sounds like they are saying exactly what you're pointing out in the second sentence..."sure he cheated, but look at all the good that came from that cheating. I'll take a few tainted bike races as the price for millions in cancer research any day."
   37. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: September 03, 2012 at 05:19 AM (#4225401)
I tell people I'm half-Welsh/half-German...it's actually more of a unknown division of Welsh, Scottish, and English on that side...but Wales is a cooler place so I go with that.


######## sheep is cool now?
   38. Greg K Posted: September 03, 2012 at 06:03 AM (#4225405)
######## sheep is cool now?

It's like ruling over peasants, or chopping people's heads off with a sword...I personally wouldn't want to do it, but there's cachet in having ancestors that did it.
   39. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 03, 2012 at 06:25 AM (#4225406)
######## sheep is cool now?

IIRC the justfication is usually something like "anything with wool and a hole".
   40. Flynn Posted: September 03, 2012 at 07:07 AM (#4225411)
I wouldn't be surprised if most people whose families have been in America for more than a few generations have Indian ancestry floating around somewhere. Black ancestry too.
   41. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 03, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4225489)
Again, I'm not an Armstrong apologist, nor have I heard what the apologists are saying. But it sounds like they are saying exactly what you're pointing out in the second sentence..."sure he cheated, but look at all the good that came from that cheating. I'll take a few tainted bike races as the price for millions in cancer research any day."

That's not how the commentary I've seen has been written or stated. The apologists I've seen have essentially been saying, "Sure, he cheated, but he's Lance Armstrong, Cancer Warrior," without acknowledging that he'd be just another anonymous cyclist but for the seven apparently ill-gotten Tour de France wins.
   42. Greg K Posted: September 03, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4225510)
As I say, I'll defer to someone who's actually read an article about Lance Armstrong in his life.

In a more general, philosophical sense it seems like a murky grey area. Without his cheating, maybe cancer research gets a little less funding over the past ten years or so. The fact that he'd just be another anonymous cyclist sort of makes it a good thing he cheated. At least for someone like me, who's interest in cancer research (mild) heavily outweighs my interest in who wins a bicycle race (zero).
   43. OsunaSakata Posted: September 03, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4225552)
Oh, this is a politics thread. I thought we were going to ship Kim Ng and Brian Sabean.
   44. The District Attorney Posted: September 03, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4225557)
Oh, this is a politics thread. I thought we were going to ship Kim Ng and Brian Sabean.
You reveal a lot with this.
   45. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 03, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4225559)
The apologists I've seen have essentially been saying, "Sure, he cheated, but he's Lance Armstrong, Cancer Warrior," without acknowledging that he'd be just another anonymous cyclist but for the seven apparently ill-gotten Tour de France wins.


Anybody keeping track of the relative numbers of this type of apologist vs the "sure he cheated, but everybody he was competing against cheated too" type of apologist? My impression is that the latter significantly outnumbers the former here, but it may be the reverse in the broader population.
   46. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 03, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4225562)
Lance Armstrong cheated, and then was a self-righteous ass about it. I'm far more oft-put by the latter, as every cyclist in the sport is doping their asses off.
   47. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 03, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4225564)
I'm having a lot of trouble getting a feel for what a good analogy is for this race.

1948, Truman-Dewey. But with better and continuous polling, and I have no idea how Sasha or Malia's singing voices are.

Re: Guiliani and Dinkins--
The results of their two races were similar; Dinkins beat Guiliani 51% to 49%, and then Guiliani beat Dinkins 51% to 48%. In the 1993 rematch there was a ballot initiative in Staten Island to secede from New York City (which passed, and was then ignored). The increased voting activity within Staten Island, which was heavily conservative, was the most notable shift in the two elections.
   48. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 03, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4225574)
What would be the point of Staten Island seceding from NYC?
   49. dr. scott Posted: September 03, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4225575)
It's important to realize that Livstrong does not actually fund cancer research anymore and have not since about 2005. Live strong is about cancer awareness and helping people with cancer to get information and funds for the best treatment. These are noble goals, but do little for research. The only real negative is the odd conflict of interest between Livestrong.org and Livestrong.com. The .com is a for profit enterprise that many see as leaching from the non profit. Also the non profit has a pretty low rate of funds going to the cause vs other similar non-profits. Especially when you look at many of the very elaborate and expensive events that they claim are part of "the cause".

   50. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 03, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4225584)
So the reason that Armstrong doped his blood was because he wanted to raise public consciousness about cancer, and it had nothing at all to do with gaining an advantage over his competitors?

Color me unconvinced.

OTOH since it's just a bike race, I don't know or care whether the entire field was doing the same thing. Those who care about bicycle racing have much more standing to comment on that.
   51. BDC Posted: September 03, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4225612)
What would be the point of Staten Island seceding from NYC?

Taxes. Or, by extension, adequate services for taxes rendered.
   52. Bob Tufts Posted: September 03, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4225614)
To bring the Armstrong conversation back to the government topic...

My concern with the process is that Lance was investigated by the DOJ for two years and they decided not to proceed. The DOJ had the power to subpoena and put people under oath - and there were perjury threats hanging over their heads if they lied.

So now the USADA comes waddling in - a supposedly independent group. It is funded extensively and officially sanctioned by the same government ($ 10 million per year) that decided to drop the case versus Lance. So in reality a government controlled entitiy is getting a second bite at the apple wihtout having to deal with true legal formalities and messy items such as the Bill of Rights.

The accusers brought forward to testify before the sports witch trials do not have to be sworn in under any true legal formalities and have no punishment if they "elaborate" on the facts.

The USADA then uses a Napoleonic Code format by which the accused has to prove their innocence. The USADA uses "comfortable satisfaction" standards for determining guilt as opposed to reasonable doubt and "non-analytic positives" (basically circumstantial evidence) to charge and convict.

I will vote for anyone running for office that says that they will throw this crap out the window.
   53. Greg K Posted: September 03, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4225625)
So the reason that Armstrong doped his blood was because he wanted to raise public consciousness about cancer, and it had nothing at all to do with gaining an advantage over his competitors?

Color me unconvinced.

I don't mean to say Lance Armstrong isn't such a bad guy. As I said a couple times, I'm no fan of Armstrong. What little I know about him is that he's an athlete that wins a lot, which (call it the Derek Jeter effect) inclines me to root against him.

I was just saying it presents that age old moral dilemma. Ill-gotten money put to good use, what do you do with it?
   54. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 03, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4225626)
Bob, the obvious answer to your issue at 52 is to decriminalize drugs. Pretty much all of them. That would leave any concern about doping to the regulatory body of the sport, and free up legislators to #### up something else.
   55. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 03, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4225627)
What little I know about him is that he's an athlete that wins a lot, which (call it the Derek Jeter effect) inclines me to root against him.


Lance Armstrong is basically a photogenic, press-friendly, Barry Bonds on a bicycle. Oh, and he's white.
   56. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: September 03, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4225636)
Those who care about bicycle racing are in need of serious therapy.


Fixed.
   57. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 03, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4225646)
I don't mean to say Lance Armstrong isn't such a bad guy. As I said a couple times, I'm no fan of Armstrong. What little I know about him is that he's an athlete that wins a lot, which (call it the Derek Jeter effect) inclines me to root against him.

Armstrong's always seemed kind of creepy to me, but that superficial judgment admittedly couldn't stand up to five minutes of competent cross-examination. And as I said, I couldn't care less whether cyclists juice themselves, since I have no interest in the sport.

I was just saying it presents that age old moral dilemma. Ill-gotten money put to good use, what do you do with it?

Put it in a slush fund to counter Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Brothers. IMO that'd be a far more efficient leveraging of Armstrong's dough, whether it was tainted or not, if he wanted to help cancer research funding.

More seriously, you accept the money without overly gushing about the character of the donor, so that Armstrong can't use your foundation's good works as a shield against accusations of his unrelated wrongdoing.
   58. tshipman Posted: September 03, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4225652)
Lance Armstrong cheated, and then was a self-righteous ass about it. I'm far more oft-put by the latter, as every cyclist in the sport is doping their asses off.


It's hardly an original observation, but the best evidence that Armstrong was doping was that he was winning. Epo and blood doping give such a huge, huge advantage that it stretches credibility to believe that someone could beat a field that was doping by huge margins without doping themselves.

Ironically, doping in cycling is pretty well proven to have a huge effect and not proven to impact baseball performance at all. And yet doping in baseball makes you a pariah (Clemens, Bonds), while it makes you just a swell guy in cycling. Bizarre.
   59. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 03, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4225683)
Back to politics: For the first time since last October 4th, the RCP average in an Obama-Romney matchup now shows them to be in a dead heat, even though the EC still shows Obama with a comfortable lead. They say that presidential campaigns don't really begin until Labor Day, so it's kind of appropriate that on this Labor Day they'll be starting out even.
   60. booond Posted: September 03, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4225691)
The race doesn't begin until after the DNC or in a week. Romney is living off a week of continued national focus on his positives (is there such a thing) and Obama's negatives. In a week, maybe 10 days, we'll know where the two entities stand. That Romney is tied after the RNC isn't very good for him.

According to 538, Obama's chances have risen 5.1% in the last week.
   61. BDC Posted: September 03, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4225704)
a photogenic, press-friendly, Barry Bonds on a bicycle

Isn't that a good description of the current Barry Bonds? :)
   62. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 03, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4225712)
These Labor Day messages from Eric Cantor and the like are really something.

On LABOR DAY, the people worth mentioning are employers. People WITH A JOB are just beneath contempt. If you claim to be working so hard, how come you're not rich?
   63. DA Baracus Posted: September 03, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4225719)
Romney is living off a week of continued national focus on his positives (is there such a thing)


Gallup's only been polling convention speeches since '96, but Romney's speech is the worst polling one they've ever had.
   64. Dan The Mediocre Posted: September 03, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4225723)
These Labor Day messages from Eric Cantor and the like are really something.

On LABOR DAY, the people worth mentioning are employers. People WITH A JOB are just beneath contempt. If you claim to be working so hard, how come you're not rich?


If someone had told me that @GOPLeader was a fake account and that twitter post was a troll, I'd believe it.
   65. booond Posted: September 03, 2012 at 06:30 PM (#4225726)
These Labor Day messages from Eric Cantor and the like are really something.

On LABOR DAY, the people worth mentioning are employers. People WITH A JOB are just beneath contempt. If you claim to be working so hard, how come you're not rich?


That's not too tone deaf, is it?
   66. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 03, 2012 at 06:41 PM (#4225730)
Just to make clear, what I said is not the actual twitter post, it's a paraphrase.
   67. booond Posted: September 03, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4225732)
Understood. I saw the real tweet.
   68. tshipman Posted: September 03, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4225771)
To be fair to Eric Cantor, here's his actual tweet:

Today, we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success.


Makes him seem sort of petty, but that's me. I have never wanted to own a business. My parents, when I was growing up, constantly demonstrated that owning your own business had a number of pitfalls. I don't begrudge people success who do own businesses, I just don't think it's for me. Labor Day is not the time to talk up small business (which is done to nauseating extent in American politics).

Wonder if Eugene V. Debs rolls in his grave to hear Obama called a socialist?
   69. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: September 03, 2012 at 10:36 PM (#4225851)
Eric Cantor has no clue what Labor Day is about. wheee
   70. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 03, 2012 at 11:57 PM (#4225892)
   71. Zoppity Zoop Posted: September 04, 2012 at 12:13 AM (#4225900)

Eric Cantor has no clue what Labor Day is about. wheee


Who would've thought that a holiday would be about something different than the initial design?

I was shocked, too, but I found that Halloween has little to do with costumes and haunted houses, which I now make sure to inform little kids of when I slam the door in their face. Did you know there were no hamburgers and potato salad on the original 4th of July? Or Memorial Day, which is apparently about dead veterans instead of those barbecues and trips to the beach. I even bet a paycheck that those postal service and bank workers aren't actually out celebrating the beginning of the age of exploration on Columbus Day. I find no historical references to stagecoach sales on Washington's birthday. And the original Puritans did not celebrate by watching the Cowboys game and the Dolphins game.

Americans are clueless twats.

Fact is, holidays mean different things to different people. To insist on enforcing the original intent of a holiday is complete and utter sophistry. Should we burn Santa in effigy for ruining Christmas?
   72. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 04, 2012 at 12:18 AM (#4225906)
I was shocked, too, but I found that Halloween has little to do with costumes and haunted houses, which I now make sure to inform little kids of when I slam the door in their face. Did you know there were no hamburgers and potato salad on the original 4th of July? Or Memorial Day, which is apparently about dead veterans instead of those barbecues and trips to the beach. I even bet a paycheck that those postal service and bank workers aren't actually out celebrating the beginning of the age of exploration on Columbus Day. I find no historical references to stagecoach sales on Washington's birthday. And the original Puritans did not celebrate by watching the Cowboys game and the Dolphins game.

Yeah, but you usually don't see July 4th speeches that ignore George Washington and start tallking about Adam Smith.
   73. Zoppity Zoop Posted: September 04, 2012 at 12:24 AM (#4225910)

Yeah, but you usually don't see July 4th speeches that ignore George Washington and start tallking about Adam Smith.


No, but there are plenty of Christmas discussions without Jesus being involved.
   74. steagles Posted: September 04, 2012 at 12:34 AM (#4225920)
Tough new RNC ad:

‘We’ve Heard It All Before’
you know, when your entire campaign is centered around the belief that barack obama is the worst president in modern history, you should really be able to cut a better ad together than him just saying things that are vaguely similar to what he said in 2008.


there are legitimate charges that you could make against obama, but that's not what romney is doing. "you didn't build that" is a complete farce of an attack. the welfare ads? that's just a dogwhistle to remind people his skin is the wrong color. obamacare? he's gonna pull the plug on grandma, remember that one?

or how about attacking him for slashing funding for medicare, despite the fact that services rendered were not affected, and beyond that, how astonishing is it for romney to make that critique when his own campaign partner wrote the bill to end medicare entirely.



if romney wants to legitimately* win this election, he really needs to do much better than this.


*i say legitimately because it's quite possible for him to win this election illegitimately. republicans in state legislatures have done a great job of stacking the deck for him. as many as 750,000 (mostly democratic) voters in pennsylvania could show up on election day and be turned away from the polls for having insufficient identification. then early voting (which, again, is mostly an advantage for democrats) in several key states has been reduced. and then, in florida, because of an overturned voter registration law, democrat registration has been slashed to <10% of what it was in 2008.

but hell, if noone was scalped after the abomination in 2000, i'd be ###### if i could blame you.
   75. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 04, 2012 at 12:42 AM (#4225925)
the welfare ads? that's just a dogwhistle to remind people his skin is the wrong color.

Reminder: If you can hear the dog whistle, you're the dog.

or how about attacking him for slashing funding for medicare, despite the fact that services rendered were not affected,

The idea that $700 billion can be lopped from the future growth of Medicare without impacting services is pure fantasy. If government could do that, there wouldn't be a Medicare crisis in the first place.

and beyond that, how astonishing is it for romney to make that critique when his own campaign partner wrote the bill to end medicare entirely.

Total fiction.

republicans in state legislatures have done a great job of stacking the deck for him. as many as 750,000 (mostly democratic) voters in pennsylvania could show up on election day and be turned away from the polls for having insufficient identification.

This is silly. Are we really supposed to believe that roughly 1 in 10 Pennsylvania voters don't have a photo ID?
   76. steagles Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:11 AM (#4225932)
Reminder: If you can hear the dog whistle, you're the dog.
that's a great line, but if you're gonna stick to that as if it's gospel, i'll point out that just because a sound can't be heard by the human ear, it doesn't mean that it can't be detected by human technology.

also, i'm a lower-middle-class white man, so yeah, i kind of am the dog.

This is silly. Are we really supposed to believe that roughly 1 in 10 Pennsylvania voters don't have a photo ID?
well, what number of disenfranchised voters would be acceptable to you? 500K? 250K? 75K?
Total fiction.
is it? or are you just playing a semantics game? "ryan's plan doesn't end medicare, it just ends medicare as we know it"

The idea that $700 billion can be lopped from the future growth of Medicare without impacting services is pure fantasy. If government could do that, there wouldn't be a Medicare crisis in the first place.
is there actually a specific medicare crisis, or is this just another symptom of a general underfunding of government, with medicare only getting a bigger portion of the blame because it's a bigger portion of the pie?


   77. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:26 AM (#4225935)
is it? or are you just playing a semantics game? "ryan's plan doesn't end medicare, it just ends medicare as we know it"

Ryan's plan doesn't end Medicare, and the "as we know it" bit is nonsense. Trading Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett ended the Red Sox as we knew them. But it didn't end the Red Sox.

is there actually a specific medicare crisis, or is this just another symptom of a general underfunding of government, with medicare only getting a bigger portion of the blame because it's a bigger portion of the pie?

Medicare is projected to be insolvent in a dozen years.
   78. Howie Menckel Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:27 AM (#4225936)

"What would be the point of Staten Island seceding from NYC?"

Maybe because no sane geographer from the past who woke up in 2012 out of a cryogenic state would guess to assign it to NY instead of NJ?

   79. steagles Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:38 AM (#4225938)
The "as we know it" nonsense is the semantics here. Trading Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett ended the Red Sox as we knew them. But it didn't end the Red Sox.
that doesn't seem like a proportionate analogy. i'd say that a more accurate analogy would be to say that the redsox moving from fenway park in boston to a sandlot in secaucus and changing their colors from grey and red to purple and orange and pulling out of the american to join the atlantic league, is a more accurate equivalent of turning medicare from a single-payer system into a for-profit, free-market voucher program.


   80. rr Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:41 AM (#4225939)
Fact is, holidays mean different things to different people.


Fact is, Cantor was just being a pol. I am pretty sure that he has a general idea of what a holiday called "Labor Day" is supposedly about, and if he doesn't, he can find out pretty quickly on the internet. Since his constituency is by and large anti-union and this is an election year, focusing on small business owners and tossing in the "earned their own success" line is just a little Twitter love note to his ideological supporters and a Tweeted middle finger to his opponents. Nothing really wrong with it, but people who think Cantor is full of sh1t are going to react. That's politics. Most people don't care that much, since Labor Day is for millions of Americans simply the day that marks the unofficial end of summer and the official start of school. If he wanted to Tweet an ideologically neutral message, he could have just said, "Enjoy the end of summer, everybody!"

You are also confusing the "meaning" of a holiday with what people actually do to celebrate it, which for many Americans in modern times means something to do with food and recreation, along with an awareness of, and often some activity related to, the holiday's origins.
   81. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:45 AM (#4225941)
republicans in state legislatures have done a great job of stacking the deck for him. as many as 750,000 (mostly democratic) voters in pennsylvania could show up on election day and be turned away from the polls for having insufficient identification.

This is silly. Are we really supposed to believe that roughly 1 in 10 Pennsylvania voters don't have a photo ID?
It's silly because it's a complete fabrication. There are roughly 0 people who will be turned away from the polls for having insufficient identification. People who claim otherwise have not read the law in question.

Opponents of these laws keep claiming that there's no evidence of voter fraud; there's just as little evidence of "vote suppression."
   82. Zoppity Zoop Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:50 AM (#4225942)

i say legitimately because it's quite possible for him to win this election illegitimately. republicans in state legislatures have done a great job of stacking the deck for him. as many as 750,000 (mostly democratic) voters in pennsylvania could show up on election day and be turned away from the polls for having insufficient identification.


It's dishonest to rightly pooh-pooh the Republican complaints about voter fraud based on actual evidence, but turn around and throw the biggest, most ridiculous number of "could" to determine how many people would really be kept away. As Silver notes, the number is real, but not the false, histrionic number thrown around. It's like arguing that auto companies are doomed because people under 16 can't drive. A lot of these are matching errors, inactive registrations, people with other IDs, people who aren't interested in voting, and assumes that 100% of the voters without an ID and want to vote will be unable to obtain one in the interim. And then assumes that even failing all this, they can't cast a provisional ballot, which they'd be allowed to under PA law.

In Pennsylvania, the state with the strictest change in photo ID, Silver estimated a change (at the time) of PA being 84.6% likely to be Obama to 82.6%. Just because Republicans aren't really above-board here doesn't mean it's right to make a pretty gross lie as a response and that's what anyone saying that these voter IDs have anything more than a very slim chance of affecting the election is doing. The quoted text is essentially a lie.
   83. OCF Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:19 AM (#4225948)
What would it take to ever move the standard American election day from Tuesday to Saturday or Sunday? I suppose there's a historical reason for Tuesday, but whatever that reason once was, it's long gone.
   84. RollingWave Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:31 AM (#4225952)
In many other countries (mine included) votign days are always either on a weekend or made a off day, and employers (outside of the military) who prevent you from taking a voting leave can be legally charged.
   85. bobm Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:36 AM (#4225953)
[83] What would it take to ever move the standard American election day from Tuesday to Saturday or Sunday? I suppose there's a historical reason for Tuesday, but whatever that reason once was, it's long gone.

From wikipedia:
^ The theories include that it was placed to avoid the Catholic All Saints Day, (November 1), a holy day of obligation. See InfoPlease.com and U.S. Election Assistance Commission


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Election_Day_(United_States)

Also http://www.infoplease.com/spot/electionday1.html

For much of our history, America was a predominantly agrarian society. Law makers therefore took into account that November was perhaps the most convenient month for farmers and rural workers to be able to travel to the polls.

The fall harvest was over, (remember that spring was planting time and summer was taken up with working the fields and tending the crops) but in the majority of the nation the weather was still mild enough to permit travel over unimproved roads.
Why Tuesday?

Since most residents of rural America had to travel a significant distance to the county seat in order to vote, Monday was not considered reasonable since many people would need to begin travel on Sunday. This would, of course, have conflicted with Church services and Sunday worship.

Why the first Tuesday after the first Monday? Lawmakers wanted to prevent election day from falling on the first of November for two reasons. First, November 1st is All Saints Day, a Holy Day of Obligation for Roman Catholics. Second, most merchants were in the habit of doing their books from the preceding month on the 1st. Apparently, Congress was worried that the economic success or failure of the previous month might prove an undue influence on the vote!
   86. steagles Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:01 AM (#4225964)
81. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 01:45 AM (#4225941)
It's silly because it's a complete fabrication. There are roughly 0 people who will be turned away from the polls for having insufficient identification. People who claim otherwise have not read the law in question.

Opponents of these laws keep claiming that there's no evidence of voter fraud; there's just as little evidence of "vote suppression."
do you believe the actions of republican politicians w/r/t preserving democracy to be ethical?

in 2000, the supreme court voted along partisan lines to stop a recount that could have changed the outcome of that year's presidential election.

since then, republicans have attacked voter registration drives, which are focused primarily on low-income, mostly democrat voters.
since then, republicans have enacted voter ID laws in the name of combating voter fraud, but which are mainly targeted at suppressing mostly democrat voters.
since then, republicans have sought to limit early voting periods
since then, republicans have underprinted ballots in key democrat districts in key swing states
since then, republicans have attempted to purge voter rolls in key swing states
since then, republicans have attacked unions, who happen to be some of the strongest supporters of the democrat party


and probably the most significant abuse of power is the citizens united case, where the supreme court voted (again, along partisan lines) to effectively eliminate campaign finance reform in a case that really had absolutely nothing to do with it.




that's what anyone saying that these voter IDs have anything more than a very slim chance of affecting the election is doing.
when the people who write the law brag about it by saying that it will allow mitt romney to win the state, i don't think you can write off the possibility that it will do just that.



   87. SteveF Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:12 AM (#4225968)
The Pennsylvania voter ID law isn't particularly onerous in terms of what it requires. Everyone is allowed to vote, even those who lack proof of identification. Those who lack the requisite proof of identification have 6 days to come back with it. The department of transportation is required to issue ID's free of charge. There is a significant campaign underway to inform the voters of the new requirements, both by the Department of State and various news organizations running these stories.

The law is silly (and possibly unconstitutional), but it's not going to be particularly effective at suppressing the Democrat vote, if in fact that's its purpose.

We're almost certain to see the Supreme Court weigh in on the issue, since we have supreme courts of various states coming to different conclusions.
   88. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 04, 2012 at 09:21 AM (#4226025)
I hope to watch exactly as much of the D convention as I did the R convention - that would be zero.
   89. BDC Posted: September 04, 2012 at 09:28 AM (#4226030)
Meanwhile, I'm sure BBTF political pundits will want to read this.
   90. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 09:32 AM (#4226035)
SteveF: actually, you can come back in six days either with ID or to sign an affidavit saying you don't have it.

The Supreme Court already weighed in on the issue, in Crawford, saying that voter ID laws were facially constitutional. Unless the law in question differs significantly from Indiana's, it'll be constitutional.
   91. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 04, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4226042)
SteveF: actually, you can come back in six days either with ID or to sign an affidavit saying you don't have it.


Because having a subset of voters have to show up in multiple places multiple times is exactly the sort of process a democracy wants to have going.
   92. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 04, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4226046)
The law is ...
Constitutional
Enacted for partisan purposes
Not a huge barrier to voting
A pain in the but for a set of voters who lean in one direction
   93. booond Posted: September 04, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4226052)
Those who lack the requisite proof of identification have 6 days to come back with it. The department of transportation is required to issue ID's free of charge.


This means that Pennsylvania's count isn't correct until six days after the fact. Are people able to get ID post-election within the six day period?
   94. Lassus Posted: September 04, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4226055)
SteveF: actually, you can come back in six days either with ID or to sign an affidavit saying you don't have it.

The idea that coming back in six days either with an ID or to sign an affidavit won't affect vote totals - and isn't designed to do exactly that - is ridiculous. Do you guys know any actual human beings?


Also, hey, let's get some opposition fact-checking from Joe and David on the liberal fact-checking:

Mr. Ryan also cited bankruptcy numbers to make the point that failing businesses mean fewer jobs. “In 1980 under Jimmy Carter, 330,000 businesses filed for bankruptcy,” he said. “Last year, under President Obama’s failed leadership, 1.4 million businesses filed for bankruptcy.”

But he appeared to conflate business bankruptcies and much more numerous personal bankruptcies. Of the 331,264 bankruptcies in 1980, only 43,694 were for businesses, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Of the 1,410,653 total bankruptcy filings last year, 47,806 were business bankruptcies, according to the institute. And, again, the numbers are falling. In 2009, there were 60,837 business bankruptcies. In July, the latest month with complete statistics, business bankruptcies were 22 percent lower than a year earlier, and personal bankruptcies were down 11 percent.
   95. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 04, 2012 at 10:02 AM (#4226056)
The idea that coming back in six days either with an ID or to sign an affidavit won't affect vote totals - and isn't designed to do exactly that - is ridiculous. Do you guys know any actual human beings?


David has seen some on TV and maybe occasionally on the subway, and he would prefer that they not be allowed to vote.
   96. Zoppity Zoop Posted: September 04, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4226067)
when the people who write the law brag about it by saying that it will allow mitt romney to win the state, i don't think you can write off the possibility that it will do just that.


That sauce is weaker than water. So, would you accept evidence from Republicans that voter fraud is more widespread than studies show because of a YouTube clip of some state representative ideologue saying so? Of course not. You told a Coulterism and don't even have the decency to backpedal.
   97. Zoppity Zoop Posted: September 04, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4226072)

The idea that coming back in six days either with an ID or to sign an affidavit won't affect vote totals - and isn't designed to do exactly that - is ridiculous. Do you guys know any actual human beings?


This is beyond stupid. No wonder Republicans poll so well defending such a pointless law if these are the arguments the opposition is giving. Provisional ballots are widely used nationally. Nearly 2 million provisional ballots were cast in 2004, with two-thirds eventually being counted. Provisional ballots aren't some strange wacky concoction made up here.
   98. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 04, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4226075)
So do you think (Free Mark Prior) that the law was put in place to limit voter fraud or to help aid the GOP?
   99. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4226078)
Just to be clear, we all agree that there is no voter fraud problem in America. FMP said:
It's dishonest to rightly pooh-pooh the Republican complaints about voter fraud based on actual evidence, but turn around and throw the biggest, most ridiculous number of "could" to determine how many people would really be kept away.
He's saying that the law serves no legitimate purpose, but then he's arguing that we have no evidence it will have a significant effect on the world. The best-case scenario for these "voter fraud" laws, in FMP's formulation, is that they're a waste of everyone's time and money.

I think we should celebrate the coming together of the two sides on this one. Whether voter ID laws are an ineffective waste of time and money or an effective conspiracy to disenfranchise the underclass, they should not exist in the first place.
   100. Lassus Posted: September 04, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4226093)
I think we should celebrate the coming together of the two sides on this one. Whether voter ID laws are an ineffective waste of time and money or an effective conspiracy to disenfranchise the underclass, they should not exist in the first place.

Much more internetty to shout BEYOND STUPID and argue things that were never said. My sole comment was that to think anything that makes voting more difficult wouldn't affect vote totals was ridiculous. I fail to see how this isn't a fact considering that rain affects vote totals.


Anyhow, as I had some figures quoted to me, I do wonder how many of the provisional ballots in 2004 required people doing this:
A voter who casts a provisional ballot because he or she is unable to provide proof of identification must execute an affirmation that he or she is the same person who appeared to vote on election day and do one of the following within six calendar days after the election:

Appear in person at the county board of elections to complete the affirmation and present proof of identification;

Submit an electronic, facsimile or paper copy of the affirmation and the proof of identification.

Might be many of them, I haven't read through the stringency of provisional ballots and voter IDs across the board.
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