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Sunday, December 02, 2012

OTP December 2012 - Pushing G.O.P. to Negotiate, Obama Ends Giving In

Mr. Obama, scarred by failed negotiations in his first term and emboldened by a clear if close election to a second, has emerged as a different kind of negotiator in the past week or two, sticking to the liberal line and frustrating Republicans on the other side of the bargaining table.

Bitter Mouse Posted: December 02, 2012 at 11:15 PM | 6172 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   5601. Lassus Posted: December 29, 2012 at 10:48 PM (#4334418)
You got that first part right.

Compelling reasoning, there. "My memory is right, yours is wrong."
   5602. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 29, 2012 at 10:51 PM (#4334421)
So IOW even though you still considered Romney a favorite, you were so afraid of some hypothetical implosion** or dirty trick that you considered that sufficient to resist 3 to 1 odds? All I can say is that that must have been one hell of a powerful fear.

It was, indeed, and a justifiable one, as seen by Benghazi, "47 percent," etc.

And you can keep pretending that being asked to post 3 to 1 is the same as being offered 3 to 1, but I doubt if many mathematicians would agree with you.

As you claim to know, odds are meant to attract equal action to both sides of a bet. If you were so confident in Obama and in Nate's assessment of the race but you didn't like the resulting 3-to-1 odds, then your various claims don't seem to add up.
   5603. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 29, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4334424)
Compelling reasoning, there. "My memory is right, yours is wrong."

I'm sure you know where Google is. Try using it.
   5604. Tripon Posted: December 29, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4334425)
Are we talking straight up, or a candidate winning by a certain percentage of the vote? If you were sure of a candidate winning, and it was a straight up bet, depending on how much you can make, then yeah that's a good bet. If the odds were just too out of whack, there's no point of making a bet even if you know who is going to win.

I remember checking intrade around a week or two before the election and I could only buy 16 or so 'Obama' stock at $16 bucks each, and I could only make $160 or so before tax on it. Made no sense at the time to do it since there was little profit for me.
   5605. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: December 29, 2012 at 11:37 PM (#4334448)
It was, indeed, and a justifiable one, as seen by Benghazi, "47 percent," etc.


Ah, so that's how it works. Romney was winning, but then 47% came out and then Romney lost. So 47% was a game changer. Got it.
   5606. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: December 29, 2012 at 11:46 PM (#4334455)
Later boners. Gotta catch an early flight to SoCal tomorrow for the Rose Bowl. Be back in a week.
   5607. thok Posted: December 29, 2012 at 11:47 PM (#4334456)
The Bush DUI story almost assuredly cost him the popular vote.


And yet, Bush still won the Electoral College.

If you tried to predict Bush-Gore on November 1st, you'd say "Bush would probably win given the polls, but it's not certain"; one might estimate his chance of winning at say 75-80%. The potential game-changer is part of the reason it was not certain* and as it turned out over the next week Bush's odds dropped from 75-80% to roughly 50% because of the game changer.

In contrast, if you tried to predict Obama-Romney on November 1st, you'd give Obama a similar 75-80% edge, but this time no game changer happened, so on the day of the election Obama's odds rose to 90%.

*Another reason is possible systematic bias in the polls, but that's a separate issue.
   5608. Lassus Posted: December 29, 2012 at 11:51 PM (#4334457)
I'm sure you know where Google is. Try using it.

Dude. You are an unpleasant prick.

Anywhoo, the top stories on the front google search page of "bush dui popular vote" are stories all agreeing from freerepublic.com, uselectionatlas.org, ontheissues.org, and redstate.com, so, there's that.

For what it's worth, there WAS a poll, and admittedly small poll, by the Christian Science Monitor on November 6th that said
Overall, 71 percent said the DUI conviction had "no effect" on their opinion of Bush. Of the rest, 15 percent said it improved their opinion of Bush, while 13 percent said they viewed him less favorably.

I admit I expected to find something more credible than the websites listed above regarding the "ayup, oh yeah" for the DUI causing him to lose the popular vote. Even with that, you're most likely right. I was in Manhattan at the time, so that's probably a big reason why I didn't see anyone caring as far as the votes go.
   5609. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:03 AM (#4334458)
And yet, Bush still won the Electoral College.

Sure, by less than a thousand votes in Florida, after Rove was so confident of a big win that he had sent Bush to places like California.

If you tried to predict Bush-Gore on November 1st, you'd say "Bush would probably win given the polls, but it's not certain"; one might estimate his chance of winning at say 75-80%. The potential game-changer is part of the reason it was not certain* and as it turned out over the next week Bush's odds dropped from 75-80% to roughly 50% because of the game changer.

In contrast, if you tried to predict Obama-Romney on November 1st, you'd give Obama a similar 75-80% edge, but this time no game changer happened, so on the day of the election Obama's odds rose to 90%.

*Another reason is possible systematic bias in the polls, but that's a separate issue.

The above shows the effect of a game-changer, not the prediction of a game-changer.
   5610. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:09 AM (#4334462)
Dude. You are an unpleasant prick.

Ha ha. You nip at my heels day after day, but I toss one barb your way and this is what I get? That's no fun.

I admit I expected to find something more credible than the websites listed above regarding the "ayup, oh yeah" for the DUI causing him to lose the popular vote. Even with that, you're most likely right. I was in Manhattan at the time, so that's probably a big reason why I didn't see anyone caring as far as the votes go.

Well, those websites mostly reference stories from outlets like ABC News in which Gore staffer (and noted "unpleasant prick") Chris Lehane brags about costing Bush the popular vote. Either way, my point was simply that the Bush DUI story was a very big deal.
   5611. thok Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:33 AM (#4334472)
Sure, by less than a thousand votes in Florida, after Rove was so confident of a big win that he had sent Bush to places like California.


The point is that there's a rough limit of how big a game changer could be. One could imagine that the DUI could have made Bush lose the popular vote 40%-60%, when he was up roughly 47%-42% a week into the election. But that's likely ridiculous, because game changers generally aren't that strong. (That is, the odds of a game changer that strong is very unlikely.)

If you want to claim that Nate can't predict what direction a game-changer will go in, then I, Nate, and everybody on this board will concede that. (Game changers, a priori, can favor either Democrats or Republicans). But if you want to claim game changers can shift an election by more than roughly 2% of the vote either way with a week left in the election, then you are a fool. The direction of a game changer can't be built into a model, but the relative strength of a game changer can be.
   5612. Dale Sams Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:34 AM (#4334473)
Just saw Obama on his Mythbusters ep for the first time.

"Well, me and the girls are big fans because you make science fun and exciting...and you blow stuff up. Which is always cool."

This explains so much.
   5613. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:45 AM (#4334480)
But if you want to claim game changers can shift an election by more than roughly 2% of the vote either way with a week left in the election, then you are a fool.

Two percent seems low. Some post-election polling showed that approximately 1 in 8 voters claimed that Hurricane Sandy was the No. 1 issue on which they based their vote, and that was a regional issue of relatively low import vis-a-vis the presidency. (I'm not claiming 1 in 8 voters shifted their vote, but if a storm was enough to essentially negate the impact of a yearlong presidential campaign and reprioritize things for ~12 percent of voters, I have to believe a 9/11-type event* or a hostage crisis — or a proverbial "dead girl, live boy" incident — could shift more than 2 percent of the vote.)


(* Speaking of which, didn't the bin Laden tape supposedly swing the polls more than 2 percent toward Bush back in late Oct. 2004?)
   5614. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 30, 2012 at 01:22 AM (#4334491)
All I know is I offered a cash free status bet involving a handle change for the loser and JoeK was totally unwilling to go for it. Because I was very sure Obama would win and was willing to put pride on the line and JoeK was was not (for whatever reason).

Which is too bad because I would have loved looking at "JoeK knows Bitter Mouse was right" as a handle for a couple months. Sigh, it was not to be, but we'll always have Paris, or Iran, or something.
   5615. thok Posted: December 30, 2012 at 01:25 AM (#4334493)
Two percent seems low.


The point is that it's 2%-3% as opposed to 10%-20%, and more importantly, that the effects of potential game changers can be modeled. Roughly, I'm imagining that the difference between the percentage of Obama votes if an election was held on a given day and the percentage of Obama votes one the day of the election can be modeled by a normal curve with a variance tightening as the gap in time gets smaller; the latter is what we care about, but the former is what we get information about from polls. That model holds all of the information you want about game changers.
   5616. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 30, 2012 at 02:06 AM (#4334497)
The point is that it's 2%-3% as opposed to 10%-20%,

Obama won by less than 4 points, so a 2- or 3-point shift could have made a very big impact.

and more importantly, that the effects of potential game changers can be modeled.

So if Nate was doing his thing in 2004, his model would have foreseen the impact of the bin Laden tape, much as it does the convention bounces? I don't really buy that. I think you were much closer in #5565, when you said "such an event could mess up his model."
   5617. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 30, 2012 at 02:34 AM (#4334504)
"Nate Silver ran the table perfectly, but if the President had divorced his wife on November 5 for a gay horse, he might not've!"

This is what's being relitigated? Sheesh.

It would seem that this year's absolute lack of late voter movement would suggest that the effects of past "game changers" like the Bin Laden tape or the Bush DUI have been exaggerated. The old DUI report came out when Bush and Gore were tied in the polls; the revelation completely upended the race into a tie. And Kerry actually moved up 2-3 points in the polls in the immediate aftermath of the al-Qaeda tape's release.

This isn't to speak to intentions -- people deliberately time this stuff -- but to results. The Romney 47% tape was released almost two months before the election, giving it time to sink in; had it instead emerged five days before, I suspect its impact would have mostly fizzled, too. But the press is so eager to break (or make) a story, we're never going to hear the end of so-called October Surprises.
   5618. thok Posted: December 30, 2012 at 02:36 AM (#4334505)
Obama won by less than 4 points, so a 2- or 3-point shift could have made a very big impact.


Given the distribution of states, Obama might have won with a five point bounce. And these 2-3 point bounces are already very unlikely, and there's no reason why multiple game changers should go in the same direction. And even with a 2% change, Obama likely would have won. And the point is that each day that went by meant the odds of a game changer occurring was smaller, which is part of the model.

So if Nate was doing his thing in 2004, his model would have foreseen the impact of the bin Laden tape, much as it does the convention bounces?


Please reread what I've written. The model doesn't try to model specific game changers; it tries to model the entire universe of potential game changers and looks at how that would affect its model. It's not hard to imagine a game changer that favored Kerry by 2% (for example, a recession hitting in October 2004).

And of course, a week after the game changer, the model doesn't have to try to predict the game changer, since it can see the information in the polls.
   5619. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 30, 2012 at 03:19 AM (#4334518)
Please reread what I've written. The model doesn't try to model specific game changers; it tries to model the entire universe of potential game changers and looks at how that would affect its model. It's not hard to imagine a game changer that favored Kerry by 2% (for example, a recession hitting in October 2004).

You seem to be speaking rather authoritatively. Has Nate disclosed the above somewhere or do you have inside info.? Either way, I'm curious how Nate's model would try to account for the possibility of a 9/11-type event or the proverbial "dead girl, live boy" scenario, or any number of other "unknown unknowns," as Rummy would say. The sample size of presidential elections for which we have great polling data is nowhere near big enough to be able to yield realistic odds of the preceding types of events occurring or highly accurate data on the possible impact thereof.

And of course, a week after the game changer, the model doesn't have to try to predict the game changer, since it can see the information in the polls.

The Bush DUI story came out 5 days before the 2000 election; the bin Laden tape was released 4 days before the 2004 election. If a true game-changer occurs or arises that close to an election, Nate's model isn't going to tell us much of anything. At best, Nate will become another poll aggregator in the last few days before the election, assuming polling even continues to be conducted.
   5620. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 30, 2012 at 05:45 AM (#4334535)
there is no large scale economic benefit. there isn't.

it....................is......................dumb


harveys--It's almost too easy to argue instead that failing to grasp the context is what's "dumb".

I wasn't talking about what squeezes the most pennies out of the budget, I was talking specifically about a useful way to incentivize first time home ownership for people who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford homes. You know, those folks who otherwise have no real way of building wealth, of getting out of the cycle of lower-middle class renting. A paid off home is typically the largest single investment parents leave their children. No surprise there, but it's so singularly valuable a way for the poor and working class to build wealth, it's something we should go out of our way to encourage.**

It's also easy to write up the incentive in such a way that it doesn't encourage people to get in over their heads (forbid the deduction in the event of mortgages with certain kinds of teaser rates, for example***).

As for the following, sweet jesus...

folks

employment dropped and has stayed dropped because the economic downturn forced companies to cut costs and learn to live without. they discovered that they had a lot of folks earning paychecks which did not need to be replaced.

american worker productivity and technology made backfilling unnecessary.

the american worker needs to reinvent himself/herself. again. which has happened repeatedly in our nation's history.

this constant cuckooing over the plight of the american worker is also noise to my ears. if you sit and tell folks they have it rought they expect someone to do something versus the worker doing something.


This is, well, "daft". American workers are the opposite of the coddled brats you make them out to be, and the increased productivity squeezed out of them came because we, as a country, seem to believe that it's much better to rely on corporate generosity than on organizing as a route to adequate remuneration for a job well done.

Among the Western industrialized nations, we work the longest, get paid around the least for comparable work, move around the most, are the least likely to have health care; we take the shortest vacations, have the worst pensions, are the least unionized (could there be a correlation?) huh)...

You're right, though, that the American worker needs to 're-invent' himself: as a unionized sort, with real rights, with real pensions, health care that's infinitely transferrable rather than tying him to a bad job he doesn't want, forty hour work weeks (if not 35 hours as in those highly productive Western democracies), actual vacation time, safe workplace conditions...

employment dropped and has stayed dropped because the economic downturn forced companies to cut costs and learn to live without. they discovered that they had a lot of folks earning paychecks which did not need to be replaced.


They didn't need to be replaced because once again the burden was shifted to the remaining workers who now work a longer week than in any country in the West.

companies are not motivated to provide raises as there is no market pressure to do so.


There's no political pressure, either. This is part of what you get when people are woefully ignorant of how economies work. When you actually think that unions reduce wages and cost jobs, you end up voting against your economic interests and wonder why your job conditions and paycheck suck.

now there is a belief in quality of life or some such.


The nerve of those no good, lazy f8ckers. Imagine having surrendered more rights and wages than any comparable country, and thinking that ought to be enough!

**The 400,000 homes H for H has built in the US has done a lot to alleviate poverty and the threat of poverty for those families, and to build wealth by letting those families build equity rather than pay rent.

***Actually, I'd turn it into something much simpler than a mortgage interest deduction, make it means-tested, make it for a first purchase only, etc., but didn't want to change the terms of the conversation.
   5621. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: December 30, 2012 at 07:21 AM (#4334540)
Overall, 71 percent said the DUI conviction had "no effect" on their opinion of Bush. Of the rest, 15 percent said [the DUI conviction] improved their opinion of Bush, while 13 percent said they viewed him less favorably.
when i read things like this, i cannot help but feel that our species is not long for this world.
   5622. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 30, 2012 at 08:37 AM (#4334544)
jack

i am not a fan of this whole take separate posts and cut and paste into a big collage approach. in the past when dealing with posters who employ this method if i didn't respond to one of the many items that lent itself to some 'ah ha' bs or if i got their responses confused that too would be used to frame me inaccurately.

so if that is the goal of your debate approach i am not buying what you are selling.

but giving you the benefit of the doubt i will respond with the following:

nobody is a bigger fan of the american manufacturing worker than me. i am personally invested in dozens of such companies and as i have demonstrated in other discussions concerning bankruptcy, mergers, etc well acquainted with the various approaches/methods/means of keeping such businesses viable in the u.s. the recent insourcing trend in this country is a delight to me as it validates my core belief in the competitiveness of the u.s. manufacturing worker.

i specifically state manufacturing worker as there are other segments of the u.s. market of which i have less than firm belief. there are many white collar workers that between 2008 to now who are experiencing what the manufacturing worker experienced in the 90's. it is those folks who need to re-invent themselves if they want to survive/thrive in the new economy.

the 'quality of life' comment was in reference to that unlike other periods there is no mass migration to where the jobs are located save for texas. the energy sector is booming and yet those parts of the country are still scrambling to get folks to move in and work. i do think it's a bit much to criticize the market or govt policies on employment when the worker isn't willing to go where the jobs are located. evertyhing cannot be virtual nor is it always convenient.

i do not understand the origins of your union rant since i did not nor have not made unions part of my comments so will not respond to that aspect. if you wish to accuse me of anti-union comments that is erroneous

i also do not identify with comments comparing workers of the u.s. to europe (assuming by western that is your intent). the europeans have their market and the u.s. has its market. you are free to say that the u.s. should be more like europe and i am just as free to roll my eyes. i have done this dance in various forums before and it's a tedious two step. i encourage you to try different means because dropping the 'be like europe' card isn't going to persuade

again, if you are going to pounce on something tying one of the responses to something you have not specifically listed or you mismatch for your own purposes then don't expect any further exchange since i will recognize that you are discussing in bad faith and another in a long line of posters who are not interested in a discussion but just being a pain.

but if you have a point beyond wanting us to be swedish i am all ears.

sincerely,

harvey

as to the mortgage interest deduction you can find the background to my comments pretty easily. it's poor tax policy plain and simple and you can try and put lipstick on the pig but it's still a pig.

   5623. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4334546)
when i read things like this, i cannot help but feel that our species is not long for this world.

Maybe the herd needs a good culling. 15%? Maybe.
   5624. thok Posted: December 30, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4334548)
Either way, I'm curious how Nate's model would try to account for the possibility of a 9/11-type event or the proverbial "dead girl, live boy" scenario


It accounts for those events in the short term by realizing that they are extremely rare, and in the long term by seeing the results reflected in the polls.

I mean, Obama would have lost the election badly if he decided out of the blue to nuke Portland in the last week of the election. But no model is going to expect that sort of an event to happen more than maybe 0.0000000000000000000000000000001% of the time.
   5625. OCF Posted: December 30, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4334558)
On the mortgage deduction, I'll return to the position I held 20 or 30 years ago: it should exist, but it should be capped. I'd suggest that the cap should lie in the general neighborhood of the debt service on a new national median mortgage at prevailing rates. That's a bit rough on high-cost localities (mostly urban), but it would also provide some restraint to the pricing in those localities. As Jack mentioned above, home ownership is a principle vehicle for building at least some wealth.

Broadly speaking, there are three things that can be taxed: income, consumption, and wealth. There are generational aspects of that: young people have relatively more consumption than income or wealth, middle-aged people have relatively more income, and elderly people have relatively more wealth than consumption or income. And I think that backing away from taxing wealth opens the path to rigid hereditary aristocracy. The two largest taxes on wealth? At the federal level, the inheritance tax, and at the local level, the property tax.

Which brings us to Howard Jarvis and California Prop. 13. It's still politically untouchable, of course, and anyone who breathes a word about touching it hears a screaming chorus of "granny was getting evicted from her home because of the taxes." One thing I'd like to see: a side-by-side comparison on the number of people forced out of their homes by rising property taxes in the 1970's, and the number of people forced out of their homes in the crisis of 2008-2010. I seriously doubt that the numbers are in the same order of magnitude. Of course, the latter folks were a lot younger on average, and still have lives to live - but they're not likely to be building much wealth from here on.

Harveys may have alluded to it somewhere above, but the whole Prop 13 structure discriminates by generation and in effect transfers wealth from the younger to the older. And there were smarter policy ways to have dealt with the problems of fixed-income people in rising-value houses in the first place. One is that if house prices rise faster than the general rate of inflation, then property tax rates need to fall. Another is that you could have given homeowners the option of paying taxes at a fixed rate, building up a debt to the taxing agency that would only be discharged with the sale of the house.

   5626. spike Posted: December 30, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4334562)
Maybe the herd needs a good culling. 15%? Maybe.


15%? "Maybe" you are optimistic.
   5627. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4334571)
You're right, though, that the American worker needs to 're-invent' himself: as a unionized sort, with real rights, with real pensions, health care that's infinitely transferrable rather than tying him to a bad job he doesn't want, forty hour work weeks (if not 35 hours as in those highly productive Western democracies), actual vacation time, safe workplace conditions...

But, good luck with that. In my unionized workplace, they have us doing "more with less"...through attrition, with no intention of "backfilling"...not because there's "no need", but because their goal is to bust the union. Then, they'll move the work to places where the workforce is willing to work for less, and they'll hire the appropriate amount of workers they actually need now, but, because the "social contract" has shifted to "shareholders first and foremost", American workers get the shaft. No hiring...wait it out...then leave...that's the strategy.

   5628. CrosbyBird Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4334575)
The state is not an alien virus. It is the manifestation of people's will--people, human beings, just like you or I. Your view of the relationship makes the relationship impossible.

No, it does not. It merely makes the relationship tenuous, which is as it should be. The government should always have the sense that if it presses too hard, that there will be revolution, and it will be costly to put down that revolution, so as to be a strong limit on government behavior.

Jefferson said it well: "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

The relationship you're suggesting is tyranny; the one I suggest is liberty. Fundamentally, either you accept that, or you reject that, and I don't think either one of us is moving. Each of us thinks the other is dangerously wrong: you think my idea of government/governed relationship lead to anarchy as opposed to uneasy but stable social contract; I think your idea of government/governed relationship leads to internment camps, Prohibition, and other less serious but still significant abuses of government power such as Kelo v. New London.

At this point, we're just going to trade "you're wrongs" back and forth if we persist in this discussion.

But you still can address this point directly, which you didn't before:

I struggle to think of what possibly could have been more harmful about the Branch Davidians being able to temporarily escape a search warrant than what ended up happening. In a purely practical sense, with no ideological concerns, the cure was much, much worse than the disease.


At what point is anything the Branch Davidians did or reasonably could have done worse than the pile of corpses produced by the ATF raid? Sam gave a pretty flip response: we were rid of Koresh. Let's engage that: was Koresh so awful a human being that we're really better off with him dead at that price? Are we a better, safer, richer nation to have made that trade?

Morty has a very good point. You can't respond to a service of warrant by starting a shootout that kills four federal agents and then complain that the federal apparatus didn't let you off with a pouty face emoticon.

Are you completely convinced that the government didn't fire first?
   5629. CrosbyBird Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4334577)
Gambling odds are meant to attract equal action to both sides of a bet. Andy's claiming I should have been betting on Romney based on numbers I didn't believe, despite his own refusal to bet on numbers he proclaims to have trusted 100 percent.

I was pretty confident that Obama would win, but I also recognized that my physical location potentially created a strong liberal bias. (I don't see how being in NYC couldn't; if I went by a straw poll of the people I encountered, Obama was winning by a factor of ten.)

I would have been willing to be a thousand dollars or so (which is a significant amount of money to me for any sort of gamble, even a good one) at even money in favor of Obama, but I don't know that I'd have laid odds. Then again, I am a fairly conservative bettor when I don't have a strong personal understanding of the underlying probabilities.
   5630. greenback calls it soccer Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4334582)
On the mortgage deduction, I'll return to the position I held 20 or 30 years ago: it should exist, but it should be capped.

Isn't that effectively what happens with the AMT?

I'd prefer a flat credit (or deduction) for home ownership. The current process subsidizes home ownership by subsidizing debt. At this point it would be nice to see the death of any subsidy to the finance industry.
   5631. OCF Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4334586)
Isn't that effectively what happens with the AMT?

The AMT is a Rube Goldberg device and I don't know whether it does what it's supposed to do; I suspect not. Capping the mortgage deduction would be much simpler and clearly targeted. But your idea, the flat credit or deduction - that would work, too. Put it in the same range I was talking about.
   5632. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 30, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4334593)
I would have been willing to be a thousand dollars or so (which is a significant amount of money to me for any sort of gamble, even a good one) at even money in favor of Obama, but I don't know that I'd have laid odds.

Likewise, and that's the point that Joe refuses either to comprehend or acknowledge. In fairness to Joe, however, I always had a suspicion that all those poll unskewings he was throwing out there were little more than a way for him to (a) bait the many baitable among us, and (b) try to deny, primarily to himself, Nate's far more objective takes on the odds. The only reason I was baiting him about Intrade was because the tone of his "unskewed" Romney win predictions was a lot more certain than he now seems to remember. It was his utter credulity in that whole "unskewing" meme of his that made it hard ever to take him all that seriously as anything more than a sock puppet for the Romney campaign's talking points.
   5633. McCoy Posted: December 30, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4334597)
Same for me in terms of betting. If I did bet, and I don't really gamble like that, I wouldn't have put money on Obama just to get my money back plus less than I was risking. If somebody made it an even bet or even gave me favorable odds I'd have put a good amount of money down but it isn't really easy to find people to wager a lot of money against for what would be for them unfavorable odds.
   5634. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: December 30, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4334598)
I'd prefer a flat credit (or deduction) for home ownership. The current process subsidizes home ownership by subsidizing debt. At this point it would be nice to see the death of any subsidy to the finance industry.


Concur.
   5635. Mefisto Posted: December 30, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4334599)
Jefferson said it well: "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."


As is true of so many "Jefferson" quotes, this one is fake. See here.

The relationship you're suggesting is tyranny; the one I suggest is liberty. Fundamentally, either you accept that, or you reject that, and I don't think either one of us is moving.


The problem is that your theory directly contradicts the whole theory of republican government. Madison, Hamilton, et al. were advancing liberty because republican government is self-rule. Now maybe your view is that these are outdated concepts, that we should move beyond them. But in that case you should say so directly and let's debate that. But as long as we operate as a republic (and we can debate the extent to which we do, which I would concede is not very much), then that advances liberty.
   5636. Tilden Katz Posted: December 30, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4334610)
Why does anyone care how a man who owned human beings (and raped at least one of them) defined "liberty"?
   5637. tshipman Posted: December 30, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4334626)
re: the betting question:

I actually agree with Joe on this. The smart bet would have been to bet on Obama with whichever of BetFair or InTrade had lower odds, and then place a well-calculated hedge on Romney on the other. You pocket the vig and move on. Betting on either politician outright would have been a stupid bet. Why risk losing money at all when you can just pocket inefficiency vig? I pointed this out at the time, too. The only reason would be because you are naturally skeptical of betting websites hosted overseas (which would be rational!)

On the mortgage deduction, I'll return to the position I held 20 or 30 years ago: it should exist, but it should be capped. I'd suggest that the cap should lie in the general neighborhood of the debt service on a new national median mortgage at prevailing rates. That's a bit rough on high-cost localities (mostly urban), but it would also provide some restraint to the pricing in those localities. As Jack mentioned above, home ownership is a principle vehicle for building at least some wealth.


Smarter to just cap deductions in general. I liked Romney's proposal on this. It avoids the ire of any particular industry, and a cap at 50K or whatever has the desired effects. Most charitable giving above that level functions as a status signaller.



   5638. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: December 30, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4334628)
50K of what? Of pricinpal, or of actual interest paid?
   5639. tshipman Posted: December 30, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4334632)
50K of what? Of pricinpal, or of actual interest paid?


You cannot receive a credit for more than 50K of your income. So if you make 2 million and spend 100K per year on your house, you only get to deduct the first 50K from your income. If you make a million and spend 25K on charity and 50K on your house yearly, you only get to deduct 50K combined.
   5640. spike Posted: December 30, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4334636)
I liked that idea too.
   5641. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: December 30, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4334639)
Yeah, that works for me.
   5642. Swoboda is freedom Posted: December 30, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4334686)
Why does anyone care how a man who owned human beings (and raped at least one of them) defined "liberty"?

I have never understood the Jefferson love. Yes he wrote beautiful prose, but he was a hypocrite. He espoused freedom but owned slaves, he hated the federal powers, but once he was President expanded them greatly (Louisiana Purchase). He also had a very naive world view on economics, expecting everyone to live as a gentleman farmer. I like a man like Hamilton more.

Actually, I toured Monticello last summer and he was one heck of an architect.
   5643. Morty Causa Posted: December 30, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4334696)
I have never understood the Jefferson love. Yes he wrote beautiful prose, but he was a hypocrite.


You mean, unlike, say, Martin Luther King who practiced Augustinian chastity (make me chaste, oh Lord, but not yet)? Hypocrisy can be seen as a step up from something worse.

Thomas Jefferson, besides everything else that he is remembered for could "calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse, dance a minuet, and play the violin." This was said of him when he was like 25.
   5644. Morty Causa Posted: December 30, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4334697)
The state is not an alien virus. It is the manifestation of people's will--people, human beings, just like you or I. Your view of the relationship makes the relationship impossible.

No, it does not. It merely makes the relationship tenuous, which is as it should be. The government should always have the sense that if it presses too hard, that there will be revolution, and it will be costly to put down that revolution, so as to be a strong limit on government behavior.


We can’t have much of a dialogue or debate unless you read and directly address what I actually wrote. You’ve not done that—you simply revert to your bottom line, which is entirely dependent on knowing the ultimate culmination. You should have been disabused of doing that in freshman law school—at the latest.

See, for instance:

5533, 5553:

I rather agree with this

5541:

I'd say their reaction showed the initial government raid was too tame. A much more aggressive approach would have saved many lives.

Yes. If anything, the government should have been harder and less conciliatory from the very beginning.

These were clowns with many guns and weapons who never had any intention, now or at some date in the future, of ever being reasonable or law-abiding. They were looking for a confrontation, and they would have it one way or another, now or later. Later may have even been worse.
   5645. Morty Causa Posted: December 30, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4334699)

CB, your view of the origin of government is strictly young earth creationist, even to the point of seeming to rest on the divinely ordained. It’s telling that you just ignore the first part of that which you quote.

But, even so, I don’t think the relationship is that tenuous. Government is not this extraneous other. It’s not just this thing outside of our selves. We gave birth to it. The urge and need came from within us. Government has been around for eons, at least since our relationships first rose to the organized level of clans and tribes. We don’t like making the compromises with our individual internal values and givens that are necessary for there to be an overarching institutional structure to our shared public life, but we know it’s to our advantage to do so, and that’s why we do it. Some autonomy is lost, yes; but something much greater is gained—something we would not have without it. This is all too often ignored, doesn’t even come to mind, or is waved away as if a mere gnat. There’s a certain type of mentality that apparently can’t see the advantage we get from this arrangement because it has a view that wants to view it as just duality—almost in a religious pre-fall and post-fall way. Before government, paradise; after government, death, disease, and having to work at making things work. It’s quite religious, even when the avowed form it takes is secular.

And having as your bottom line value that the enforcement apparatus of that institutional structure must always concede to the individual is the Maginot Line of that mentality. That doesn’t mean the individual, and his urge to have his way, isn’t important, even essential; it just means that there are countervailing values we hold, sometimes grudgingly, of equal value. We like freedom; we also recognize that it is only possible in a context of order and stability.
   5646. Morty Causa Posted: December 30, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4334700)

In law, there is a standard of absolute liability that adheres when a party does certain things—such as using explosives, for instance. You can be as careful as possible, but if something goes wrong when you use dynamite, you are liable. Period. That seems to be the standard some would like to hold the government to: a standard of absolute liability. Something went wrong: ergo, the government had to be at fault. But, that is not the standard it is to be held to—as judicial proceedings on Waco have confirmed and affirmed. Most of us are good at recognizing that the government isn’t perfect (duh). What they don’t want to acknowledge overtly is that it doesn’t have to be; that is not where the line is drawn. Not as a matter of law, nor as good political philosophy. No one but the incurably and crazily dishonest measure it by that yardstick. Having that as the sine qua non for government action would make government impossible.
   5647. Morty Causa Posted: December 30, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4334701)
This view, that the government is always in the wrong, and must always take a step back and defer, when it is at loggerhead with the individual is cognitively salved and easier to accept if one can make the government out as something that emanates from outside our nature that is imposed on us against our will, which is only for the advantage of the weak and/or corrupt, rather than something that issues from something within us and is groomed and constrained from the necessary relations between and among ourselves and our differing and competing interests. Thus, the government becomes this creature. Not even an alien person. Corporations are people, not government; it’s the Blob. Looking at it that way allows you to preserve not only a valued antagonistic stance, but a freeing sense of irresponsibility. It’s never your fault. You never have to work to make it better; just being against is sufficient. That way it’s as if you, the individual, can only be placed in jeopardy by the actions of government; you, poor you, ain’t getting nothing from this deal. It’s only because of your largesse that you concede even the minimum to others.

That’s all nice and flowery—but it’s a stupid lie. You only have what you continually are negotiating with others, individually and in concert with the like-minded. The result that is the system, of which the government is an important part. It can be changed, modified, but it must always be. There is, and never has been, an Edenic state. So, make your case in that realistic context, and stop pretending you have a special access to the way things should be. They should be as we decide them to be. That’s all that is possible, and all you know of what is possible.
   5648. Tripon Posted: December 30, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4334702)
WASHINGTON -- House Speaker John A. Boehner called it “ironic” that President Obama blamed Republicans for stalled negotiations on the "fiscal cliff" and accused the Democrat of being unwilling to stand up to his own party.

Responding to Obama’s appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” the Ohio Republican said the GOP has been “reasonable and responsible” throughout the talks.

“In an effort to get the president to agree to cut spending -- which is the problem -- I put revenues on the table last year, and I put them on the table again last month,” Boehner said in a statement. “Republicans made every effort to reach the ‘balanced’ deficit agreement that the president promised the American people, while the president has continued to insist on a package skewed dramatically in favor of higher taxes that would destroy jobs.”
   5649. Morty Causa Posted: December 30, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4334703)
Walking away from dangerous people, a large group of dangerous people, dangerously armed, and acting dangerously is not something that governments do, should do, or are required to do. First, because there’s a real downside to government seeming ineffectual, and, second, there’s no assurance that tomorrow (being, as Scarlett O’Hara has told us, another day) will be any better or less fraught with danger. Scarlett is just going to keep on being Scarlett. Postponing confrontation in the end can have even more serious repercussions—ask Neville Chamberlain. You need to base postponement on more than a “who knows, anything can happen.” Yeah, it could change for the worst. Postponement as a strategy is like the pitcher who stood on the mound, facing a fearsome slugger, and held the ball for such an inordinately long time instead of throwing it that the manager comes out and says, “You’re going to have to throw it sooner or later.” The pitcher replies, “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe he’ll get a phone call.” Is that what the government should have done—waited in hopes Koresh got the phone call that told him to surrender?
   5650. Morty Causa Posted: December 30, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4334704)
So, you seem to be an anarchist, yes. But, me, a fascist? No. How could I be? I’m this fascist who would send people to the death camps now? That’s fairly despicable, and, moreover, is the last refuge of the debate scoundrel. It’s not even a caricature of what I think. I am the only person here on these threads that I know of that has consistently time after time gone on record as agreeing to abide by process, regardless of outcome. I have always said that I don’t have to have my way for me to view the system and the process and result as valid. That it’s enough that the process be substrate neutral. You see this as a prime character trait of fascists or totalitarians? I realize that my view at some point could break down and the outcome might be truly horrible—like any view of how things should work. Hey, that’s why we have just wars and revolutions. But, let’s not set the bar so low anyone and anything can crawl over it.

I don’t rest my theory of good government on an ideology. And I don’t think that a government is automatically discredited if it does what I don’t like. That does seem to be your position. Not mine, however. I rest mine on fairness and balancing interests, both within the psyche of the individual and between people. That seems a foreign concept to many because they can’t get out of their quasi-religious ideological mindset. It’s either/or all the way down with them. Anything else is paltering with the good. It’s all dogma and doctrine with them. Never about accommodation of competing views and interests. It’s a stance that is must be held by those thoroughly disrespectful of anything outside of themselves. You’re not that good. Nobody is. It’s them versus an evil something or other—you got to have an evil something or other. This would be silly and childish if it didn’t have such serious consequences.
   5651. Tilden Katz Posted: December 30, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4334710)

You mean, unlike, say, Martin Luther King who practiced Augustinian chastity (make me chaste, oh Lord, but not yet)? Hypocrisy can be seen as a step up from something worse.


Cheating on your wife (which Jefferson did with the human being he believed he had the God-given right to own) is not in the same universe of evil as owning hundreds of slaves (including his own illegitimate children) and having them tortured when they don't work up to your expectations. Washington at least freed his slaves in his will. Jefferson, who wrote so passionately yet so impotently about the evils of slavery, did not even do that.

Jefferson is the most overrated of the Founders and could be the most overrated American in history.
   5652. tshipman Posted: December 30, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4334716)
WASHINGTON -- House Speaker John A. Boehner called it “ironic” that President Obama blamed Republicans for stalled negotiations on the "fiscal cliff" and accused the Democrat of being unwilling to stand up to his own party.


Alannis strikes again!
   5653. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 30, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4334720)
It's like 10,000 spoons when we only have enough money for 800 spoons.
   5654. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 30, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4334727)

In his most recent proposal to resolve the fiscal showdown and reduce the budget deficit, President Barack Obama offers approximately 90 percent of the overall amount of spending cuts proposed in the bipartisan deficit reduction plan authored in 2010 by former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY) and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles—the co-chairs of the president’s 2010 fiscal commission. The proposed revenue increases in the president’s offer are about 60 percent of those proposed by Simpson-Bowles.

...

The Simpson-Bowles plan included about $2.7 trillion in noninterest spending cuts over the next 10 years, along with another $600 billion in cuts from reduced interest payments on the national debt, which together total $3.3 trillion in spending cuts. President Obama has already signed $1.7 trillion of spending cuts into law—including interest savings. His latest proposal offers another $1.2 trillion in additional spending cuts, for a total of $2.9 trillion. That’s nearly 90 percent of the total spending cuts proposed by Simpson-Bowles.

In addition to the overall amount of spending cuts, the president’s plan also proposes similar, though not precisely identical, cuts within budget categories:

Simpson-Bowles proposed $1.6 trillion in discretionary cuts. With the $200 billion in cuts that the president has offered in this area—on top of those already enacted—the president’s plan has $1.7 trillion in cuts to discretionary spending.
Simpson-Bowles called for about $460 billion in health care cuts. The president’s plan includes $400 billion in such cuts.
Simpson-Bowles included $260 billion in cuts to other mandatory programs (not including the effects of switching to a different measure of inflation). President Obama’s proposal includes $200 billion in these cuts.

On the tax side of the ledger, Simpson-Bowles advocated for a total of about $2.2 trillion in new revenue —$850 billion from allowing the upper-income Bush tax cuts to expire, plus another nearly $1.4 trillion from a broader tax reform. President Obama’s offer calls for less than $1.3 trillion in new revenue, which is about 60 percent of the levels proposed by Simpson-Bowles.


Link
   5655. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 30, 2012 at 07:19 PM (#4334767)
I would have been willing to bet a thousand dollars or so (which is a significant amount of money to me for any sort of gamble, even a good one) at even money in favor of Obama, but I don't know that I'd have laid odds.
Likewise, and that's the point that Joe refuses either to comprehend or acknowledge.

Andy, what do you mean, "likewise"? Either you believed Nate's numbers (and, thus, believed that Obama was a 3-to-1 favorite) or you didn't, but you're trying to have it both ways. You're mocking people who didn't have full confidence in Nate's odds — or didn't want to bet for reasons other than the odds — despite the fact you apparently wagered $0 yourself.

This business about the odds being unfavorable makes no sense. If you believe the odds were correctly set — which you seem to believe, based on all of your pro-Nate comments/hectoring — then people on both sides of a 3-to-1 bet would have been getting the same risk-adjusted payout.
   5656. Tripon Posted: December 30, 2012 at 07:33 PM (#4334776)
Joe, have you ever made a bet before? This is a honest question.
   5657. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 30, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4334777)
Yes.
   5658. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 30, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4334785)
Andy, what do you mean, "likewise"? Either you believed Nate's numbers (and, thus, believed that Obama was a 3-to-1 favorite) or you didn't, but you're trying to have it both ways. You're mocking people who didn't have full confidence in Nate's odds despite the fact you apparently wagered $0 yourself.

Again, I thought that Nate's system was sound and that Obama was going to win the election. That doesn't mean I was going to lay 3 to 1 on it. But if I'd been yakking as much as you did about how only a "game changer" would likely prove those "unskewed" polls wrong, I'd sure as hell have taken 3 to 1. All during those pre-election threads right up to the last week or so, we both seemed to project equal amounts of confidence in the outcome, and we both allowed for possible gamechangers (as did Nate), but since the payoff to you on a $300 bet would have been nine times the payoff to me, it's hard to see how the risk / reward ratio was remotely equal.

And in hindsight, my suggestion to you would be this: Next time, get yourself a more objective group of poll unskewers. You might even learn pay more attention to a pro like Nate Silver than to a clown like Dean Chambers.
   5659. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 30, 2012 at 07:54 PM (#4334794)
Again, I thought that Nate's system was sound and that Obama was going to win the election. That doesn't mean I was going to lay 3 to 1 on it.

Translation: "I totally believed Nate — until it came time to wager." LOL.

But if I'd been yakking as much as you did about how only a "game changer" would likely prove those "unskewed" polls wrong, I'd sure as hell have taken 3 to 1.

I thought Romney was a very slight favorite, but as with your false claim that I "spent page after page parroting that 'unskewed poll' wingnut" — whom I actually quoted zero times — I don't recall claiming that "only a 'game changer' would likely prove those 'unskewed' polls wrong."

All during those pre-election threads right up to the last week or so, we both seemed to project equal amounts of confidence in the outcome, and we both allowed for possible gamechangers (as did Nate),

If you were as confident as I was and trusted that the odds were correctly set, then you were just as foolish as I (allegedly) was for not placing a bet. Otherwise, your various claims don't add up.

but since the payoff to you on a $300 bet would have been nine times the payoff to me, it's hard to see how the risk / reward ratio was remotely equal.

If you believe the odds were correctly set, as you apparently do, then both of us would have been receiving the same risk-adjusted payout. Either you don't really believe Obama was a 3-to-1 favorite, you're doing some math wrong, or you're allowing emotion to trump the dispassionate model you proclaim to trust so much.

Otherwise, if betting on the favorite in a 3-to-1 wager was known to be a horrible idea, Las Vegas and Atlantic City would have to fold their sports books.

And in hindsight, my suggestion to you would be this: Next time, get yourself a more objective group of poll unskewers. You might even learn pay more attention to a pro like Nate Silver than to a clown like Dean Chambers.

Back to this dishonesty? I mentioned or otherwise cited Dean Chambers zero times.
   5660. Tripon Posted: December 30, 2012 at 08:00 PM (#4334796)
What were the odds at the time? 3:1 right? Why would anyone put 3 bucks to make 1 buck? I would need to put up a large amount of my money in order to get a decent return, and that money is tied up in the bet.
   5661. Greg K Posted: December 30, 2012 at 08:01 PM (#4334798)
I don't quite get the "betting" line of conversation.

Is the implication that Joe's confidence in a Romney victory (or at least the lack of confidence in the odds derived from Silver's projection) wasn't genuine? It never struck me as anything but an honest belief. An incorrect one, I thought at the time, but it didn't strike me as ungenuine.
   5662. greenback calls it soccer Posted: December 30, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4334800)
Why would anyone put 3 bucks to make 1 buck?

A 30% return -- or maybe it's 20% after fees, I don't know -- is pretty good. The problem is that if you think there's a 75% chance of Obama winning and the payoff probabilities are consistent with a 75% chance of Obama winning, then there's not much point in betting.

Basically Andy would have to been almost 100% certain that Obama was going to win to get a similar risk-adjusted return to what Joe with his "Romney was a very, very slight favorite" viewpoint would have had.
   5663. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 30, 2012 at 08:16 PM (#4334801)
What were the odds at the time? 3:1 right? Why would anyone put 3 bucks to make 1 buck? I would need to put up a large amount of my money in order to get a decent return, and that money is tied up in the bet.

By this logic, no head-to-head game, fight, or event with 3-to-1 or greater odds would be on the boards in Vegas, because no one would bet on the favorite.

Incidentally, as much as it's odd that Andy keeps trying to position himself as a huge Nate believer while making excuses for not betting based on Nate's odds, it should be noted that Nate was often much more bullish on Obama than were the bettors at Intrade. If Andy didn't like Obama for betting purposes when Nate had him as a 3-to-1 favorite, he still could have bet on Obama as a 2-to-1 favorite (or thereabouts) at Intrade, but it appears Andy didn't do that, either.
   5664. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 30, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4334808)
I thought Romney was a very slight favorite, but as with your false claim that I "spent page after page parroting that 'unskewed poll' wingnut" — whom I actually quoted zero times — I don't recall claiming that "only a 'game changer' would likely prove those 'unskewed' polls wrong."
You actually gave Romney over 300 electoral votes, so you didn't think he was a slight favorite.

Back to this dishonesty? I mentioned or otherwise cited Dean Chambers zero times.
Directly, true. Indirectly — and I believe this goes for pretty much the entire right-wing blogisphere — the language of Unskewed.com permeated your posts. Samples typical of a JoeK response to polling that favored the President:
Skewed poll yields skewed results. News at 11. Undersampled Republicans, undersampled independents, oversampled Dems.
Sure, but they're only baked into the poll results if the polls are using unskewed samples. A lot of these polls have been wildly oversampling Dems.
The polling should pick up trends that might have occurred after a person had registered to vote, but with a response rate of only 9 percent (per some articles over the weekend), my confidence in that info. wouldn't be too high. Right now, no one really knows who's not responding to pollsters or why.
This stuff, and more, was articulated on Unskewed.com and repeated as the unvarnished (or unskewed, if you will) truth. Democrats were oversampled, poll responders were lying, indies were flying to Romney, etc., all of these things Chambers baked into his polling. My f-i-l probably never heard of Dean Chambers either, but he sure did nail all those same talking points JoeK did.
   5665. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 30, 2012 at 08:29 PM (#4334809)
You're right, though, that the American worker needs to 're-invent' himself: as a unionized sort, with real rights, with real pensions, health care that's infinitely transferrable rather than tying him to a bad job he doesn't want, forty hour work weeks (if not 35 hours as in those highly productive Western democracies), actual vacation time, safe workplace conditions...

But, good luck with that. In my unionized workplace, they have us doing "more with less"...through attrition, with no intention of "backfilling"...not because there's "no need", but because their goal is to bust the union. Then, they'll move the work to places where the workforce is willing to work for less, and they'll hire the appropriate amount of workers they actually need now, but, because the "social contract" has shifted to "shareholders first and foremost", American workers get the shaft. No hiring...wait it out...then leave...that's the strategy.


Understood, JB, and given how even in one of the cradles of American labor rights, Michigan, worker rights have just take a giant step backwards, I don't expect even a short-term halt in the erosion of rights (outside of California and New York, and a few other states). It's going to get worse before it gets better, and even a union membership rate at historic lows doesn't seem to be enough for this currently rapacious incarnation of the GOP.

Wiki on Labor Unions in the US notes,

At the apex of union density in the 1940s, only about 9.8% of public employees were represented by unions, while 33.9% of private, non-agricultural workers had such representation. In this decade, those proportions have essentially reversed, with 36% of public workers being represented by unions while private sector union density had plummeted to around 7%.


Unions have something of a safe haven in markedly blue states, but other than that what few rights remain in red states or states with GOP controlled state houses are going to continue to disappear. The GOP's efforts to control state legislatures (and governorships) is paying off handsomely for the very few in this regard.

You cannot receive a credit for more than 50K of your income. So if you make 2 million and spend 100K per year on your house, you only get to deduct the first 50K from your income. If you make a million and spend 25K on charity and 50K on your house yearly, you only get to deduct 50K combined.

I liked that idea too.

Yeah, that works for me.


Yup. It addresses a number of issues, while leaving intact the value of the deduction for low-income families, who otherwise typically have very little in the way of itemized deductions.


Actually, I toured Monticello last summer and he was one heck of an architect.


What in particular did you like? I've never been, but I'm thinking of heading over the next time I'm within an hour's drive. From photos I've always been struck by how incoherent it looks from anything other than the conventional, head-on view; the detailing in back especially wrt the fenestration seems odd, too. OTOH, from people I know who've been inside, the domed living room is gorgeous.

   5666. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 30, 2012 at 08:38 PM (#4334814)
You actually gave Romney over 300 electoral votes, so you didn't think he was a slight favorite.

That was 1-2 days before the election, and it's possible there was some bravado involved. Before that, I never said I saw Romney as anything other than a very slight favorite.

Directly, true. Indirectly — and I believe this goes for pretty much the entire right-wing blogisphere — the language of Unskewed.com permeated your posts. Samples typical of a JoeK response to polling that favored the President:
This stuff, and more, was articulated on Unskewed.com and repeated as the unvarnished (or unskewed, if you will) truth. Democrats were oversampled, poll responders were lying, indies were flying to Romney, etc., all of these things Chambers baked into his polling. My f-i-l probably never heard of Dean Chambers either, but he sure did nail all those same talking points JoeK did.

UnskewedPolls.com popped up well after the issue of polling samples had become an issue. Most of the people who firmly believed that polls were too Dem-leaning still scoffed at the idea that Romney was ever winning by 5 points, or whatever the Unskewed guy claimed.
   5667. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: December 30, 2012 at 08:45 PM (#4334820)
Is the implication that Joe's confidence in a Romney victory (or at least the lack of confidence in the odds derived from Silver's projection) wasn't genuine? It never struck me as anything but an honest belief. An incorrect one, I thought at the time, but it didn't strike me as ungenuine.


Then why not bet, if you're getting 3 to 1, and 1 to 2 days before the election you had Romney getting 300 EV's?

Because it was just wishful thinking on his part. Which, IMO, doesn't show a lot of conviction.
   5668. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 30, 2012 at 08:48 PM (#4334823)
Then why not bet, if you're getting 3 to 1, and 1 to 2 days before the election you had Romney getting 300 EV's?

Because it was just wishful thinking on his part. Which, IMO, doesn't show a lot of conviction.

Right, but Andy claiming to have full faith in Nate while also refusing to bet was perfectly sensible. Give me a break.
   5669. DA Baracus Posted: December 30, 2012 at 08:48 PM (#4334824)
UnskewedPolls.com popped up well after the issue of polling samples had become an issue.


Hipster.
   5670. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: December 30, 2012 at 08:51 PM (#4334826)
No, Joe, you get no break. Laying 3 to win 1 is a suckers bet, no matter what you think the pollsters say.

Laying 1 to win 3? When you give the underdog a good chance to win? Gimme! 30 of those bets.

edit..."no matter which pollsters you think are correct" is clearer.
   5671. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: December 30, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4334828)
All experienced gamblers know about value betting. Value betting dictates you never bet the chalk. Ever. You have to win too many chalk bets to make up for one chalk bet that loses.
   5672. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 30, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4334833)
That was 1-2 days before the election. Before that, I never said I saw Romney as anything other than a very slight favorite.
But then you did say it. When it came down to prediction time, you didn't think it was going to be that close.

UnskewedPolls.com popped up well after the issue of polling samples had become an issue.
I've always assumed this was part of the whole "Liberal Media Conspiracy" thing, that any poll that gets reported via the Lame-Stream Media has to be wrong in some way. Thus, polling sample issues. Chambers simply attempted to quantify what wingers believed to be true. Strangely (or not) the fact that Chambers was loud wrong has not made a dent in the belief that polls are left-leaning and biased.

Most of the people who firmly believed that polls were too Dem-leaning still scoffed at the idea that Romney was ever winning by 5 points, or whatever the Unskewed guy claimed.
Most? You can't know that for sure. But they did believe Chambers over Silver, and more importantly they believe in the rationale behind why Chambers should have been believed.
   5673. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4334834)
No, Joe, you get no break. Laying 3 to win 1 is a suckers bet, no matter what you think the pollsters say.

Laying 1 to win 3? When you give the underdog a good chance to win? Gimme! 30 of those bets.

LOL. It appears Joe Bivens is an expert at unskewing gambling odds.

The entire premise of this discussion is that the 3-to-1 odds favoring Obama were correct. If they were, then bettors on both sides of the bet were getting the same risk-adjusted payout.

As for Andy specifically, if he believed Obama was more or less of a favorite than Nate (or Intrade) was claiming, then he should have just said so at the outset of this discussion. Otherwise, all of his pro-Nate chest-thumping has been B.S.
   5674. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4334835)
LOL. It appears Joe Bivens is an expert at unskewing gambling odds.

"All experienced gamblers know about value betting. Value betting dictates you never bet the chalk. Ever. You have to win too many chalk bets to make up for one chalk bet that loses."

LOL.
   5675. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:07 PM (#4334841)
I've always assumed this was part of the whole "Liberal Media Conspiracy" thing, that any poll that gets reported via the Lame-Stream Media has to be wrong in some way. Thus, polling sample issues. Chambers simply attempted to quantify what wingers believed to be true. Strangely (or not) the fact that Chambers was loud wrong has not made a dent in the belief that polls are left-leaning and biased.

Are you claiming that every pollster is 100 percent down this middle, and that no polls had sample issues, even the ones that had a more Dem-leaning electorate than 2008?

As much as you guys are still making hay out of "unskewing," the basic concept had merit. In 2008, a D+7 electorate yielded a 7-point win for Obama. In 2012, however, an alleged D+6 electorate yielded only a 3.6-point win for Obama (as of the last numbers I had seen). If you guys are still going with the theory that party ID is fluid and that people identify with the winner, then Obama should have been a net recipient of defectors rather than the opposite.

Most? You can't know that for sure. But they did believe Chambers over Silver, and more importantly they believe in the rationale behind why Chambers should have been believed.

I'm unimpressed with your pedantry. I can't recall a single person — not even Dick Morris — who believed the Unskewed guy when he claimed Romney was really winning by 5 points.
   5676. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:13 PM (#4334843)
Are you claiming that every pollster is 100 percent down this middle, and that no polls had sample issues, even the ones that had a more Dem-leaning electorate than 2008?
No, but then, I also don't think that the polling that was flawed were flawed for sinister reasons, either.

As much as you guys are still making hay out of "unskewing," the basic concept had merit.
Then you just keep on believe what you believe. You'll be as wrong in the future as you were this year, but at least you'll be wrong for all the right reasons.

I'm unimpressed with your pedantry. I can't recall a single person — not even Dick Morris — who believed the Unskewed guy when he claimed Romney was really winning by 5 points.
I'm not the one who put that 5% number out there, you did, and I'm not sure why. The point is that Chambers had Romney winning in the face of a mountain of polling that suggested otherwise, and an enormous number of wingers, including yourself, believed that was going to be the case.
   5677. Tripon Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:15 PM (#4334844)
Okay Joe, lets put it this way, Lets say Romney was shown a 3-1 favorite with say, Nate Silver saying that there's a 75% to 80% chance of victory, and intrade is offering similar odds. How much would you bet?
   5678. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:26 PM (#4334847)
Okay Joe, lets put it this way, Lets say Romney was shown a 3-1 favorite with say, Nate Silver saying that there's a 75% to 80% chance of victory, and intrade is offering similar odds. How much would you bet?

I wouldn't bet at all, for the reasons I've detailed time and time and time again. But I'm not the one who's spent months bashing and baiting other people re: their refusal to bet, and I certainly wasn't the one claiming to believe that it was possible to predict the outcome of a presidential election to a four-decimal-place degree of accuracy some two months before an election.

All I've been doing above is holding Andy to his own standards. He obviously doesn't like that, as evidenced by his obfuscations and his (dishonest) attempts to shift the discussion to the "Unskewed" guy.
   5679. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4334850)
hey, president obama won re-election. let's all accept that and move on already

just a thought
   5680. Lassus Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4334853)
I can't recall a single person — not even Dick Morris — who believed the Unskewed guy when he claimed Romney was really winning by 5 points.

Morris was predicting a 4-point landslide?
   5681. JuanGone..except1game Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4334854)
Speaking of stupid baseless conspiracies, emigrating _______ Truthers should be part of comprehensive Immigration reform. Lack of shame is one of my least favorite qualities in people and some on the Right have it in spades.
   5682. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:37 PM (#4334857)
hey, president obama won re-election. let's all accept that and move on already

just a thought

Ha ha. I accepted it on Election Day. I'd be happy to let it die but Andy & Co. are sore winners.

Going back to the fiscal cliff, etc., some people above advocated for a capped mortgage deduction. Wouldn't that just artificially inflate the prices of real estate at the lower end of the market? It seems like getting rid of the entire deduction would be better.
   5683. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:39 PM (#4334860)
hey, president obama won re-election. let's all accept that and move on already


You'd think, Harvey. You'd think. But NO! Joe Kehoskie needs to relitigate the ####### election, because Joe Kehoskie is a ####### moronic troll, and this lot can't seem to not feed the ####### trolls to save their lives.
   5684. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4334862)
Speaking of stupid baseless conspiracies,


Hillary Clinton has *not* been cleared to play next week, even if the Redskins win tonight and make the playoffs.
   5685. DA Baracus Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:44 PM (#4334866)
But I'm not the one who's spent months bashing and baiting other people re: their refusal to bet


No, you bash and bait people for other reasons.
   5686. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:44 PM (#4334867)
You'd think, Harvey. You'd think. But NO! ...

I'll add reading to the long list of things you're horrible at. I didn't bring up the 2012 election, and I'd be thrilled never to discuss it again. But I'm not going to sit by while others try to create false memes out of thin air.

***
No, you bash and bait people for other reasons.

Another country heard from. By the way, you never got back to me on why #4831 constituted "trolling," as you repeatedly insisted. I'm sure it was just an honest oversight.
   5687. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:47 PM (#4334870)
joe

think of it this way. do you tell your kids there is no santa claus?

let folks have their ideas. it doesn't hurt anyone
   5688. Tripon Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:49 PM (#4334873)
How can you be a sore winner? You can be an #######, but that's part of the package of winning. Your side won so you pretty much have carte blanche to act the way you want.

   5689. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 30, 2012 at 10:08 PM (#4334886)
I'm unimpressed with your pedantry. I can't recall a single person — not even Dick Morris — who believed the Unskewed guy when he claimed Romney was really winning by 5 points.


That is true.
Of all the predictions, none of the ones I collected had Romney winning by 5% (if they gave a percentage).


   5690. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 30, 2012 at 10:11 PM (#4334889)
(retracted — rendered moot by the edit to #5689)
   5691. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: December 30, 2012 at 10:24 PM (#4334897)
Is that the ##### now? The Dems are "sore winners?" It's almost as if they ran on a policy platform, won a landslide on that platform, and are not intent on implementing that platform regardless of what an intransigent, gerryrigged House minority* thinks.

Suck ####, Joe. No one remembers the Armenians.

*the Tea Party rump is a minority, even if the tail continues to wag the dog.
   5692. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 30, 2012 at 10:27 PM (#4334901)
Is that the ##### now? The Dems are "sore winners?" It's almost as if they ran on a policy platform, won a landslide on that platform, and are not intent on implementing that platform regardless of what an intransigent, gerryrigged House minority* thinks.

Wow, you really are bad at reading. (Also, neither Obama nor the Dems "won [in] a landslide." Glad I could clear that up for you.)
   5693. DA Baracus Posted: December 30, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4334927)
By the way, you never got back to me on why #4831 constituted "trolling," as you repeatedly insisted. I'm sure it was just an honest oversight.


I just didn't care. But since you ask, I have thought about it and I was probably wrong to call you a troll.

The proper term would be a baiter.
   5694. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 30, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4334928)
That is true. Of all the predictions, none of the ones I collected had Romney winning by 5% (if they gave a percentage).
And again, it should be noted that the only person who is using the 5% as a baseline is Joe.
   5695. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 30, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4334931)
All I've been doing above is holding Andy to his own standards. He obviously doesn't like that, as evidenced by his obfuscations and his (dishonest) attempts to shift the discussion to the "Unskewed" guy.

Joe, I'd never even heard of that "unskewed" idiot until you first introduced him here, and then kept telling us that the pollsters were "oversampling" Democrats and therefore "skewing" their results towards Obama.

The only sensible response to Dean Chambers and that whole "unskewing" nonsense was mockery, and yet you actually took it seriously and referred to their thesis time and time again in an effort to "unskew" Nate. It provided terrific amusement for all us liberals and probably even a few intelligent conservatives, and yet you still seem to think that the election results were little more than the product of a hurricane, doctored unemployment numbers, and the biased liberal media.
   5696. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 30, 2012 at 11:00 PM (#4334935)
And again, it should be noted that the only person who is using the 5% as a baseline is Joe.

What are you talking about? Five seconds at Google shows us that the Unskewed guy blasted onto the scene by claiming Romney was winning by five percent:

Mitt Romney five percent lead by unskewed Gallup poll data

The Unskewed site went online 1-2 weeks after the above article.

***
Joe, I'd never even heard of that "unskewed" idiot until you first introduced him here,

You lie! I did no such thing.

The only sensible response to Dean Chambers and that whole "unskewing" nonsense was mockery, and yet you actually took it seriously and referred to their thesis time and time again in an effort to "unskew" Nate. It provided terrific amusement for all us liberals and probably even a few intelligent conservatives, and yet you still seem to think that the election results were little more than the product of a hurricane, doctored unemployment numbers, and the biased liberal media.

You don't know what the hell you're talking about. I never mentioned or cited the Unskewed site a single time, and that site didn't even exist until about 6 weeks before the election.
   5697. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 30, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4334942)
What are you talking about? Five seconds at Google shows us that the Unskewed guy blasted onto the scene by claiming Romney was winning by five percent:
I actually had no idea that the Unskewed guy did that. I read some of his columns and knew his electoral college prediction, but that was all. My point (which I'm forced to make yet again) isn't that wingers were running around touting "5% or bust!" but using Chambers' arguments and language to make a quantifiable argument that everyone else's polls are skewed and that everything the wingers believed (polling biases, media biases, respondents are liars, etc.) were all true. It's not a coincidence that the word "unskewed" became one of the most common descriptors in the polling conversation.
   5698. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 30, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4334951)

If that's your point, you're still wrong. Nobody was "using Chambers' arguments and language"; rather, Chambers co-opted an issue that was already being raised elsewhere and managed to get himself a lot of publicity by tripling or quadrupling down on it.

There was nothing wrong or conspiratorial when conservatives pointed out that polls that showed a D+7 or higher sample were probably incorrect, and that was proven true when the 2012 electorate was less Dem than the 2008 electorate. But it's wildly inaccurate to try to claim that huge numbers of people on the right were convinced the polls were off by 5 points, as Chambers was claiming. I can't recall a single conservative commentator or analyst who remotely backed that claim (or otherwise trumpeted Chambers' site). This was just another example of lefties going off in the weeds, finding something ridiculous, and then pretending it was the mainstream position of the right.
   5699. CrosbyBird Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:41 AM (#4335054)

As is true of so many "Jefferson" quotes, this one is fake.

I appreciate the link. There were a few other ones in there that were unverified that I thought were Jefferson's. That said, the sentiment of not only the positive nature of rebellion, but the necessity, is there in quotes that are verified.

This is not a fake Jefferson quote:

I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical... It is a medecine necessary for the sound health of government." -


...and this one is not fake either:

What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.


The problem is that your theory directly contradicts the whole theory of republican government. Madison, Hamilton, et al. were advancing liberty because republican government is self-rule. Now maybe your view is that these are outdated concepts, that we should move beyond them. But in that case you should say so directly and let's debate that. But as long as we operate as a republic (and we can debate the extent to which we do, which I would concede is not very much), then that advances liberty.

I don't know that they are outdated concepts so much as imperfect concepts, created by men, that can be improved upon. And I do say so directly; it matters not one bit to me whether or not any of the Founding Fathers had the same conception of liberty than I do, since they were wise men in ignorant times, before a technological and cultural revolutions that simply were unpredictable.

I seriously doubt that many of the Founding Fathers would have modern (and in my opinion, morally correct) views on equality of race and sexual orientation. Or speech, which is the one liberty that we've been mostly moving in the right direction throughout or history.

I do not delude myself into thinking that we live in a republic; we live in an oligarchy thinly disguised as a republic. It was always this way, from the beginning of our country to today, but over time, the gap between privileged and underprivileged has become larger and the power of the government has grown.
   5700. Jay Z Posted: December 31, 2012 at 02:33 AM (#4335083)
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