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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

OTP November 2012 - Moneypoll! The Pundits vs. The Election-Data Nerds

Come next Tuesday night, we’ll get a resolution (let’s hope) to a great ongoing battle of 2012: not just the Presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, but the one between the pundits trying to analyze that race with their guts and a new breed of statistics gurus trying to forecast it with data.

In Election 2012 as seen by the pundits–political journalists on the trail, commentators in cable-news studios–the campaign is a jump ball. There’s a slight lead for Mitt Romney in national polls and slight leads for Barack Obama in swing-state polls, and no good way of predicting next Tuesday’s outcome beyond flipping a coin. ...

Bonus link: Esquire - The Enemies of Nate Silver

Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:42 PM | 11298 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mr president, off-topic, politics, sabermetrics, usa

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   10101. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:33 PM (#4310290)
Obama made a universally-praised speech when the Wright SHTF. Romney never addressed the bitherism (Trump), racism (Sununu), or slavery apologia (Barbour) put out by his buddies.

John Sununu's a racist now? When did that happen? There are so many racism allegations these days, it's hard to keep up with them all.
   10102. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4310291)
Did you actually spend 2 hours on this reply?

Clearly I didn't spend enough time on the reply, since I overlooked the minority +2 in 1996. But the answer to your question is the same as the answer to "Do you know when to stop doubling, tripling and octupling down on a misconception?"-- no.

You think the GOP's 12-seat gain in Year 18 of the Dem's eventual 40-year House majority is analogous to the Dems' 8-seat gain in 2012, when the GOP had held the House for just 2 years?

No, the GOP's 12-seat gain is not analogous. The Republicans won 49 states, 61% of the total and 520 electoral votes in 1972. Nixon's coattails were far more shabby than Obama's.
   10103. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:37 PM (#4310292)
No, the GOP's 12-seat gain is not analogous. The Republicans won 49 states, 61% of the total and 520 electoral votes in 1972. Nixon's coattails were far more shabby than Obama's.

Only if you believe the GOP partially gerrymandering a 2-year majority in 2012 was somehow more powerful than the Dems' 18-year incumbency in 1972. (I know you believe incumbency is more powerful now than it was 30 or 40 years ago, but I believe that's a false assumption.)
   10104. DA Baracus Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:40 PM (#4310294)
Well...I guess giving Obama the Nobel Peace Prize would be more ironic.


This one's my favorite because even Obama says he didn't deserve it.
   10105. Tilden Katz Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4310298)
John Sununu's a racist now? When did that happen? There are so many racism allegations these days, it's hard to keep up with them all.


When? Who knows. Being only four years old, I was not familiar with him when he was defrauding the government, so maybe before then. But calling the president "lazy and disengaged" and saying he wished "this president would learn how to be an American." And of course there was accusing Colin Powell of supporting the President simply because they shared a skin color.
   10106. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4310300)
Re: #10,103--
I like that you're fighting to elevate 1972 while keeping 2012 down, even though counting 1972 still wouldn't get your "this is what tends to happen" assertion up to the level of a coin flip.
   10107. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:49 PM (#4310301)
When? Who knows. Being only four years old, I was not familiar with him when he was defrauding the government, so maybe before then. But calling the president "lazy and disengaged" and saying he wished "this president would learn how to be an American." And of course there was accusing Colin Powell of supporting the President simply because they shared a skin color.

Those allegations of racism seem to be missing the racism.
   10108. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:53 PM (#4310304)
If that's what you think I'm clearly saying, then you're clearly not very good at reading.
No one on the right says that, but they treat minority groups like mine as if we're stupid. "Hey, Asians, why are you voting for Democrats? What's wrong with you?"

....the Dem party buys votes with taxpayer money.
So how do you explain the Asian vote?
   10109. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:59 PM (#4310306)
It always comes back to this, doesn't it? I'm half surprised that you're not accusing Obama of being on a mysterious "fifth plane" on 9/11 that masterminded the other four and then ditched it back to Kenya.

So Romney is guilty by association but not Obama?


Do Obama's views on America in any way reflect those of Wright and Ayers? Have they ever? Of course not. Not even the strongest anti-Obama Primates here have ever claimed that. And yet you still drag up allusions to those two characters as if there were any significance at all to them.

   10110. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:01 AM (#4310308)
Those allegations of racism seem to be missing the racism.

All negative adjectives concerning Barack Obama fall into three categories:

A) Obvious racial codewords, denoting racism.
B) Words that are obviously not racial codewords, used to camouflage the fact they denote racism.
C) Words that may or may not be racial codewords, but totally are.
   10111. McCoy Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:02 AM (#4310309)
1) How many times has this happened to you? Your driving on a major highway or thoroughfare and about a half mile ahead, at an intersection with a minor road, there is a traffic light currently green. There are no cars on either side waiting at their red. Then a car pulls up, stops momentarily before turning right. A few seconds later, your light turns yellow then red, and you have to stop and wait, for no one. Why can't city planners and traffic engineers design lights with a simple logic circuit that will wait to change the light and check 20, 30 seconds later to see if a car is still there? If so, change the light. If not, reset. Seems a no-brainer to me.

The lights are there, in part, to stop you. A sea of green causes people to speed.
   10112. Dale Sams Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:02 AM (#4310310)
It's still monday here.
   10113. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:03 AM (#4310311)
So Romney is guilty by association but not Obama?
Romney's not guilty by association, he's guilty of tolerating the racist elements within his party.
   10114. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:06 AM (#4310312)
Makers vs. takers, 1866 style.
   10115. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:06 AM (#4310313)
Thomas Ricks being interviewed by Fox on Benghazi

Hilarity ensues.


I've known Tom for 30 years, and I've never been more pleased to say that. FOX was fortunate that they cut him short, since he's got zero tolerance for the sort of BS that FOX's trained seals are famous for barking.


I watched the clip. I agree it was BS Fox cut him off (not that anyone should be surprised), and I'm open to his point but... what was it? What does the issue of security contractors getting killed in Iraq have to do with the four Americans being killed in Benghazi? The right wing is claiming that Obama ignored the requests of the American diplomats in Benghazi to beef up security, and then did not respond adequately to the attack that night (possibly distracting from the issue later with the "this was a spontaneous demonstration of a video" claptrap that Rice was sent out to give). Please note that I have absolutely no idea what the facts are in Benghazi as to this and I take no position on this other than to say that I have a very hard time believing that Obama wasn't concerned about these diplomats and didn't order everything to be done that could be done -- but how does this apply to contractors being killed in Iraq? Should Bush have done more to protect contractors spread out through Iraq? How?
   10116. McCoy Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:07 AM (#4310314)
As Charlie Comiskey would have said, that's the whelp of a beaten cur. Even poor Romney never played that pathetic hand.


Comiskey wouldn't have said that.
   10117. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:08 AM (#4310315)
No one on the right says that, but they treat minority groups like mine as if we're stupid. "Hey, Asians, why are you voting for Democrats? What's wrong with you?"

Well, if we're talking specifically about Asians, those questions are, while impolite, somewhat valid. Asians who vote for Dems are generally voting against their economic interests, and they're certainly voting against their educational and professional interests, especially when voting for Dems at the state and local level.

In places like (ahem) California, Dems — and especially Latino Dems — have declared war on college admission policies that they claim admit too many Asians. (Our old friend John Moores has been talking about this for a decade.) Affirmative action policies supported by Dems also routinely make it harder for Asians to get jobs compared to blacks and Latinos with similar or worse (sometimes much worse) test scores and credentials.
   10118. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:11 AM (#4310316)
No one on the right says that, but they treat minority groups like mine as if we're stupid. "Hey, Asians, why are you voting for Democrats? What's wrong with you?"

Because Democrats would never do anything like ask What's the Matter With Kansas? and if such a tome ever existed, they certainly wouldn't worship it. Take that, bitter clingers!
   10119. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:15 AM (#4310317)
Well, if we're talking specifically about Asians, those questions are valid. Asians who vote for Dems are generally voting against their economic interests, and they're certainly voting against their educational and professional interests, especially when voting for Dems at the state and local level. In places like (ahem) California, Dems — and especially Latino Dems — have declared war on college admission policies that they claim admit too many Asians.
In other words... "Why are you so stupid?"

Oh, you're not saying we're stupid? Because I'm reading that Joe (and for that matter, most of the GOP) think Asian-Americans vote against our own economic interests, our educational interests, and our professional interests. Joe's not saying my people are stupid, just that we act stupid.

Not surprisingly, my people don't appreciate that. On a personal level, I'd think the wealthiest, most educated, most successful single ethnic voting bloc ought to get some benefit of the doubt here. Then again, I sabotage myself all the time, as my people are wont to do.
   10120. Tripon Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:16 AM (#4310318)
Its great that a guy with a name for Joe Kehoskie is speaking for the Asian demographic.

Anyway, I think an important part that I think is missing from the 'analysis' about Asians. Many of these recent immigrants are from countries with actual Socialist/Communist countries. And they wouldn't necessarily associate it as a negative. We have at least 3 generations of Chinese immigrants who grew up in a China that was Communist.

So when Republicans declare Democrats, and President Obama is a secret Socialist, or whatever, they don't take out their guns and defend the nation. They just roll their eyes and understand what a real socialist country is. The United States is way far from what a real Socialist/Communist country would look like.
   10121. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:17 AM (#4310321)
Romney's not guilty by association, he's guilty of tolerating the racist elements within his party.

So Joe Biden gets to be vice president after calling Obama a "clean" black guy, and Hillary Clinton gets to be secretary of state despite her tactics in the 2008 Dem primary, but Mitt Romney was supposed to track down and eject the "racist elements" from the GOP?

Yet another convenient double standard crafted by the left.
   10122. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:19 AM (#4310322)
So Joe Biden gets to be vice president after calling Obama a "clean" black guy, and Hillary Clinton gets to be secretary of state despite her tactics in the 2008 Dem primary, but Mitt Romney was supposed to track down and eject the "racist elements" from the GOP.
The identity of the party isn't defined by who's standing at the podium, but who's standing in the audience.

EDIT: I should add that I have zero tolerance for the paternalistic Old White Wing of the Democratic Party. The difference is that they're not trying to write their personal racism into law anymore.
   10123. formerly dp Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:23 AM (#4310324)
but Mitt Romney was supposed to track down and eject the "racist elements" from the GOP.
There are a few football fields between 'track down and eject' and 'not embrace with open arms'.
   10124. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:25 AM (#4310325)
In other words... "Why are you so stupid?"

Oh, you're not saying we're stupid? Because I'm reading that Joe (and for that matter, most of the GOP) think Asian-Americans vote against our own economic interests, our educational interests, and our professional interests. Joe's not saying my people are stupid, just that we act stupid.

Not surprisingly, my people don't appreciate that. On a personal level, I'd think the wealthiest, most educated, most successful single ethnic voting bloc ought to get some benefit of the doubt here. Then again, I sabotage myself all the time, as my people are wont to do.

"Why are you so stupid?" is your choice of wording, not mine.

If you and "[your] people" aren't voting for economic, educational, or professional reasons, then on what issues are you and "[your] people" voting?

***
The identity of the party isn't defined by who's standing at the podium, but who's standing in the audience.

Did you notice the racial breakdown of the voting in the 2008 Dem primary? Are you aware that the "birthers" originated not with racist right-wingers but with Hillary Clinton supporters?
   10125. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:29 AM (#4310328)
Its great that a guy with a name for Joe Kehoskie is speaking for the Asian demographic.

I've done no such thing. I was asked a question and I answered it.

***
There are a few football fields between 'track down and eject' and 'not embrace with open arms'.

In what ways did Mitt Romney (or John McCain) "embrace" racists "with open arms"?
   10126. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:31 AM (#4310329)
You've got a sizable percentage of white Republicans who still don't believe that Obama is even an American, let alone a "real American"---and as if that sad phrase itself isn't loaded with racial implications..


I always thought the phrase applied to Sam.
   10127. Tilden Katz Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:38 AM (#4310331)
In what ways did Mitt Romney (or John McCain) "embrace" racists "with open arms"?


Here's a literal example
   10128. DA Baracus Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:40 AM (#4310332)
Here's a literal example


Is this close enough to count? Open palm at least.
   10129. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:43 AM (#4310333)
Here's a literal example
Is this close enough to count? Open palm at least.

Give me a break.

If Obama gets a free pass for Ayers and Dohrn, and Jeremiah Wright, and 9/11 "truther" Van Jones, et al., then it's weak sauce to castigate Romney for being pictured with Donald Trump or even Joe Arpaio (the latter of whom has locked up plenty of white people).
   10130. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:49 AM (#4310336)
The difference is that nobody knows who Ayers and Dohrn are, and they certainly don't get national air time, while folks like Trump, Sununu, and Santorum are the spokespeople for the Republican party, on major networks, and major players in the national conversation.
   10131. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:50 AM (#4310337)
So Romney is guilty by association but not Obama?

Do Obama's views on America in any way reflect those of Wright and Ayers? Have they ever? Of course not. Not even the strongest anti-Obama Primates here have ever claimed that.


This is hilarious, because I've been trying to explain to you for four years that nobody ever claimed that Obama's views reflected Wright's or Ayers', and yet all you kept asking for was evidence of such when nobody was claiming it.

The complaint was always over the association. I'm glad you finally understand that. Although now you've got the double standard problem Joe identifies above.
   10132. Tilden Katz Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:50 AM (#4310338)
In what way did Obama openly embrace Bill Ayers? Did he ever praise Ayers or ask him to appear at a fundraiser? Both of those things are true with regard to Trump and Arpaio vis a vis Romney.
   10133. formerly dp Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4310340)
In what ways did Mitt Romney (or John McCain) "embrace" racists "with open arms"?
"No one ever asked to see my birth certificate".

This is, of course, pointless, because no matter how cacophonous the voices saying "yeah, the GOP sounded like flaming racists to us during that campaign", you'll just insist on dismissing them, and telling people why they voted, instead of listening to the reasons they articulate.
   10134. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:55 AM (#4310341)
"Why are you so stupid?" is your choice of wording, not mine.
Well, if the shoe fits... To be fair, I don't think you're racist. I think you believe everyone who doesn't agree with you is stupid. (Also not uncommon here.)

If you and "[your] people" aren't voting for economic, educational, or professional reasons, then on what issues are you and "[your] people" voting?
Wow, you really do think we're stupid. Of COURSE Asian-Americans vote for economic, educational, and professional reasons, among others. Anyone who doesn't truly is stupid, and if you believe that's what Asian-Americans do, then you're just not going to be the guy to figure out how to speak to this particular group of voters.

Did you notice the racial breakdown of the voting in the 2008 Dem primary?
Oh, sure. but I'll let you figure out why it was that the party didn't just tear itself to pieces right then and there.
Are you aware that the "birthers" originated not with racist right-wingers but with Hillary Clinton supporters?
Oh, sure. The Democratic Party has its own little group of raving idiots. (Edit: Not little.) It is to HRC's great credit that she disavowed them in the strongest possible terms, and it speaks to the strength of her relationship with Obama (if Game Change is to be believed) that she eventually agreed to serve as Obama's SoS.

And to turn it around, are you aware that the "birthers" found a comfortable home within the Republican Party? Did you notice the percentage of Republican voters who still believe Obama is not an American?
   10135. Tilden Katz Posted: November 27, 2012 at 12:58 AM (#4310343)
I cannot speak to how a racial minority in this country feels about the Republican party because I am not a racial minority. But as a gay man, I can tell you how a sexual minority might feel. And those feelings stem not just from an opposition to gay marriage, but more from a complete and total lack of respect (being regularly compared to a dog ###### does that to you).
   10136. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:22 AM (#4310345)
In what way did Obama openly embrace Bill Ayers? Did he ever praise Ayers or ask him to appear at a fundraiser? Both of those things are true with regard to Trump and Arpaio vis a vis Romney.

Barack Obama's political career was launched in Bill Ayres' living room.
   10137. BurlyBuehrle Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:27 AM (#4310346)
Only if you believe the GOP partially gerrymandering a 2-year majority in 2012 was somehow more powerful than the Dems' 18-year incumbency in 1972. (I know you believe incumbency is more powerful now than it was 30 or 40 years ago, but I believe that's a false assumption.)


If this discussion is still happening, for purposes of that discussion, I'd like to know: (a) To not "underperform," how many seats would the Dems have picked up in the HoR and Senate, respectively? and (b) Is it a generic number, or are there specific seats that should have gone Dem that didn't?

The good news is that I can't sleep, so we don't have to "believe" that anything is a false assumption, we can look it up. For those that don't want to sift through the figures, the cliff notes version: Joe's belief is incorrect. Incumbency has gotten stronger in the past ~30 years: markedly in the Senate, and marginally in the House. Skip the rest if you don't want the actual numbers, but I'm hunting that most elusive animal, an admission of error.

Senate -- from 1964 to 1980 (9 election cycles), incumbency averaged 73%, with a high of 88% (1966) and a low of 55% (1980). In 4 of those 9 cycles, it was 71% or below (68, 76, 78, 80).
From 1982 to 2010 (15 election cycles), incumbency averaged 86.8%. In 7 of 15 cycles, it was 90+%. In ZERO of those cycles did it drop below 75%; in 14 of 15, it was 79+%.

House -- from 1964 to 1980, incumbency averaged 91%. From 1982 to 2010, incumbency averaged 94%.

The figures can be found right here: http://www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/reelect.php
   10138. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:30 AM (#4310347)
Wow, you really do think we're stupid. Of COURSE Asian-Americans vote for economic, educational, and professional reasons, among others. Anyone who doesn't truly is stupid, and if you believe that's what Asian-Americans do, then you're just not going to be the guy to figure out how to speak to this particular group of voters.

Voting out of self-interest or voting selflessly? Because if Asian-Americans, the highest-earning, highest-educated demographic in America, believe they're voting out of self-interest by voting for Democrats who want to (1) raise their taxes, (2) make it harder for Asians to get into the best colleges, and (3) make it harder for Asians to get jobs in both the public and private sectors, then it appears Asian-Americans are doing it wrong.
   10139. BurlyBuehrle Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:33 AM (#4310348)
When? Who knows. Being only four years old, I was not familiar with him when he was defrauding the government, so maybe before then. But calling the president "lazy and disengaged" and saying he wished "this president would learn how to be an American." And of course there was accusing Colin Powell of supporting the President simply because they shared a skin color.


Those allegations of racism seem to be missing the racism.


If you can't find the racism in the Colin Powell statement, then you're not looking very hard, living in some sort of bizarro-world...or, I don't know. To break it down very simply, the statement explicitly states that Colin Powell supported Obama "simply" due to skin color, with a clear meaning of "despite the voluminous reasons Powell should oppose Obama, Powell is too dumb to see those reasons, but instead bases his support solely on race." This statement completely ignores even the possibility that Powell's reasons for supporting Obama might -- just might -- be more nuanced than that.

Please keep presuming to tell individual minorities and entire demographic swaths (a) why they voted a particular way; and (b) that they are stupid for so doing...because you'll continue to be trounced when it comes time to count the votes in those demographic groups.
   10140. Tripon Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:37 AM (#4310349)
If Joe wants to think Asians are being dumb asses in voting Democratic, fine whatever. Why the heck are we arguing with him on this? He's clearly wrong, but there's really nothing to 'argue' on this topic. Personally, I'm not interested of correcting Joe on this. Its a bit of a fool's errand at this point.
   10141. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:37 AM (#4310350)
Joe's belief is incorrect. Incumbency has gotten stronger in the past ~30 years: markedly in the Senate, and marginally in the House.

...

House -- from 1964 to 1980, incumbency averaged 91%. From 1982 to 2010, incumbency averaged 94%.

And yet, the House flipped zero times from 1954 to 1992, and then three times from 1994 to 2010, despite the alleged growing power of incumbency in recent years.
   10142. BurlyBuehrle Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:40 AM (#4310351)
And yet, the House flipped zero times from 1954 to 1992, and then three times from 1994 to 2010, despite the alleged growing power of incumbency in recent years.


Incredible. You're even arguing math. It isn't "alleged."

True or false: 94 > 91?
   10143. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:47 AM (#4310352)
If you can't find the racism in the Colin Powell statement, then you're not looking very hard, living in some sort of bizarro-world...or, I don't know. To break it down very simply, the statement explicitly states that Colin Powell supported Obama "simply" due to skin color, with a clear meaning of "despite the voluminous reasons Powell should oppose Obama, Powell is too dumb to see those reasons, but instead bases his support solely on race." This statement completely ignores even the possibility that Powell's reasons for supporting Obama might -- just might -- be more nuanced than that.

The only "bizarro world" thinking is being done by the person who seems to believe Colin Powell's sudden endorsement of a black Dem presidential candidate, after decades of being a Republican and decades of being promoted by Republicans, had nothing to do with race.

***
If Joe wants to think Asians are being dumb asses in voting Democratic, fine whatever. Why the heck are we arguing with him on this? He's clearly wrong, but there's really nothing to 'argue' on this topic. Personally, I'm not interested of correcting Joe on this. Its a bit of a fool's errand at this point.

I haven't seen much attempt at "correcting" from you, just a lot of indignant foot-stomping.
   10144. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:50 AM (#4310353)
Incredible. You're even arguing math. It isn't "alleged."

True or false: 94 > 91?

True or false: The House flipped three times from 1994 to 2010, after flipping zero times in the previous 40 years?
   10145. BurlyBuehrle Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:52 AM (#4310354)
The only "bizarro world" thinking is being done by the person who seems to believe Colin Powell's sudden endorsement of a black Dem presidential candidate, after decades of being a Republican and decades of being promoted by Republicans, had nothing to do with race.


More goalpost shifting and dishonest argument. I never stated that it had "nothing" to do with race. The original statement was that Colin Powell supported Obama "simply" due to race -- as in, his *only* reason for so doing was race. That is clearly a racist statement, as it basically comes right out and says that Powell is an unintelligent simpleton unable to think past race when deciding which candidate to support.

Even your 10143 is along those lines -- "he was a Republican for years and all of a sudden he switched to Obama! WTF??! Oh, right, Obama's black! That must be it."

   10146. BurlyBuehrle Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:57 AM (#4310355)
True or false: The House flipped three times from 1994 to 2010, after flipping zero times in the previous 40 years?


I assume it is true. But I'm not certain how the House flipping is a better measure of incumbency than...oh, right, incumbency.

I answered your question. I assume you can concede that 94 is, in fact, more than 91. As in, more incumbents lost elections in the period 1964 to 1980 than in the period 1982 to 2010.

FTR, is your argument that a 3% *increase* in the rate of incumbency fails even to suggest that incumbency has grown stronger? As in, more incumbents winning does not = incumbency is stronger?
   10147. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 27, 2012 at 01:58 AM (#4310356)
More goalpost shifting and dishonest argument. I never stated that it had "nothing" to do with race. The original statement was that Colin Powell supported Obama "simply" due to race -- as in, his *only* reason for so doing was race. That is clearly a racist statement, as it basically comes right out and says that Powell is an unintelligent simpleton unable to think past race when deciding which candidate to support.

How is it a racist statement, let alone "clearly" a racist statement? Sununu stated an opinion. It might be an incorrect opinion, but it's not "clearly a racist" opinion.
   10148. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 27, 2012 at 02:10 AM (#4310358)
I assume it is true. But I'm not certain how the House flipping is a better measure of incumbency than...oh, right, incumbency.

If incumbency is so much more powerful now than it was when the Dems held the House for 40 consecutive years, then what explains the wave elections in 1994, 2006, and 2010? Is incumbency more powerful, except when it isn't?

I answered your question. I assume you can concede that 94 is, in fact, more than 91. As in, more incumbents lost elections in the period 1964 to 1980 than in the period 1982 to 2010.

Just out of curiosity, is there a reason you're using imbalanced sample sizes and/or the 1964 endpoint, the latter of which is 10 years after the Dems' eventual 40-year majority had begun?
   10149. Tripon Posted: November 27, 2012 at 02:15 AM (#4310359)

I haven't seen much attempt at "correcting" from you, just a lot of indignant foot-stomping.


Did I say I want to correct your viewpoint on this? No, I'm just calling you a jackass. But hey, if you still want to try to shame Asians for not voting Republican, go right ahead. Don't really know what it accomplish. Political parties have to recruit voters, the voters don't need to shape their votes to suit political parties, and the sooner Republicans realize that, the better they are.
   10150. BurlyBuehrle Posted: November 27, 2012 at 02:20 AM (#4310360)
If incumbency is so much more powerful now than it was when the Dems held the House for 40 consecutive years, then what explains the wave elections in 1994, 2006, and 2010? Is incumbency more powerful, except when it isn't?


More goalpost shifting and dishonest argument. Stop me if you've heard this song before. Recall my original post (10137), where I clearly stated that the increase in HoR incumbency was "marginal."

"Wave" election in 1994 -- 90% incumbency. (Higher incumbency than in 64, 66, 70, 74.) Was it a "wave," at least with respect to incumbency? Debatable. Certainly not if compared to 1964 to 1980.
"Wave" election in 2006 -- 94% incumbency. (Higher incumbency than in 64, 66, 70, 74, 80; as high as 72 and 78.) Right on the average of 1982 to 2010. Probably not a wave, at least with respect to incumbency; certainly not if compared to 1964 to 2010.
"Wave" election in 2010 -- 85% incumbency. Ties with 1970 for lowest incumbency in the entire period. Probably "wave" is accurate characterization.**

Just out of curiosity, is there a reason you're using imbalanced sample sizes and/or the 1964 endpoint, the latter of which is 10 years after the Dems' eventual 40-year majority had begun?


The website I found started in 1964 and ran through 2010. And the 1980 endpoint was because the original statement was whether incumbency had gotten stronger in the past 30 years, IIRC. I'm happy to look at earlier data -- but you won't like what it says: 1946 to 1950: 87% incumbency; 1952 to 1980: 94% incumbency; 1982 to 2000: 97% incumbency. http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~gelman/stuff_for_blog/JOParticle.pdf (An entire article from Columbia University titled...wait for it..."Incumbency, Redistricting, and the Decline of Competition in U.S. House Elections.")

**Do you see what I did there? I conceded that the other side made a good point. You could give it a whirl.

EDIT: And I'll take your response to mean that you are, in fact, arguing that more incumbents winning somehow does NOT mean that incumbency has gotten stronger.
   10151. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: November 27, 2012 at 02:22 AM (#4310361)
Voting out of self-interest or voting selflessly? Because if Asian-Americans, the highest-earning, highest-educated demographic in America, believe they're voting out of self-interest by voting for Democrats who want to (1) raise their taxes, (2) make it harder for Asians to get into the best colleges, and (3) make it harder for Asians to get jobs in both the public and private sectors, then it appears Asian-Americans are doing it wrong.
That would explain the utter failure of this particular ethnic group in their personal finances, their education, and their employment opportunities. If only my people would start voting in our self-interest, we'd finally get somewhere.
   10152. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 27, 2012 at 02:24 AM (#4310362)
But hey, if you still want to try to shame Asians for not voting Republican, go right ahead. Don't really know what it accomplish.

Ha ha. I haven't been trying to shame anyone. I was asked a question and I answered it. If anything I've said is wrong, especially #10138, then I'm all ears.
   10153. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 27, 2012 at 02:32 AM (#4310363)
That would explain the utter failure of this particular ethnic group in their personal finances, their education, and their employment opportunities. If only my people would start voting in our self-interest, we'd finally get somewhere.

Non-responsive. You claimed Asian-Americans vote out of self-interest, but it's hard to reconcile that claim with the realities of the modern Dem platform. When you're a high earner and you vote for the party that wants to raise your taxes, you're not voting out of self-interest. When you're a high achiever academically and you vote for the party that wants to make it tougher for you to get into the best colleges, you're not voting out of self-interest. When you're a high performer professionally and you vote for the party that wants to make it tougher for you to get a public- or private-sector job, you're not voting out of self-interest.
   10154. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: November 27, 2012 at 02:34 AM (#4310364)
If anything I've said is wrong, especially #10138, then I'm all ears.
No, you're really not. Then again, I'm Asian-American, so concepts like self-interest might be too difficult for me to grasp. It's the curse of my people.
   10155. greenback calls it soccer Posted: November 27, 2012 at 02:40 AM (#4310366)
It's weird how much the Asian-American vote has been bandied around, but the Jewish vote is largely ignored.

If we're looking to change the subject, I would suggest a discussion of Hostess and the nostalgia (?) for Twinkies. I've never had high standards for the food that I dumped into my body, and even I thought those things were gross.
   10156. OCF Posted: November 27, 2012 at 02:51 AM (#4310367)
The famous figurative assertion of Bill Clinton's presidency was that he was the "first black president" - as a matter of style, appeal, and culture. By the same standards, Obama has always seemed to me to be the "first Asian-American president." It's still figurative, of course, but there are some stylistic elements there, and the importance of education in his life is part of that style. And, of course, he had an Asian stepfather, has an Asian-American half sister, and lived part of his childhood in an Asian country and the rest of it in the most Asian of U.S. states.
   10157. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 27, 2012 at 02:55 AM (#4310368)
More goalpost shifting and dishonest argument. Stop me if you've heard this song before. Recall my original post (10137), where I clearly stated that the increase in HoR incumbency was "marginal."

No, there was no goalpost-shifting or dishonest argument. I've asked you the same question repeatedly -- if incumbency is more powerful now, then what explains the House flipping in 1994, 2006, and 2010? -- but apparently you have no answer.

"Wave" election in 1994 -- 90% incumbency. (Higher incumbency than in 64, 66, 70, 74.) Was it a "wave," at least with respect to incumbency? Debatable. Certainly not if compared to 1964 to 1980.

Now tell us about the 17 or 18 Democratic incumbents who retired in 1994 and whose seats were won by Republicans. Did they all get sick of their cushy lives in the House, or did they maybe read the political tea leaves?

The website I found started in 1964 and ran through 2010. And the 1980 endpoint was because the original statement was whether incumbency had gotten stronger in the past 30 years, IIRC. I'm happy to look at earlier data -- but you won't like what it says: 1946 to 1950: 87% incumbency; 1952 to 1980: 94% incumbency; 1982 to 2000: 97% incumbency.

Oops, you're doing it again. You seem to be assuming that incumbents always run until they lose. That was probably true 30-plus years ago, but ever since the advent of lobbying firms, many incumbents prefer to bow out gracefully when they see which way the political winds are blowing (and while K Street is still calling).
   10158. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 27, 2012 at 03:53 AM (#4310372)
If incumbency is so much more powerful now than it was when the Dems held the House for 40 consecutive years, then what explains the wave elections in 1994, 2006, and 2010? Is incumbency more powerful, except when it isn't?

Incumbency does not favor a particular party over the other; it favors incumbents. It favors them whether their party is the majority or the minority. It favors them whether their party has held the House for 40 years or for 2 years.

In the last 60 years, there have been seven elections in which at least 30 House incumbents were defeated: 1958, 1964, 1966, 1974, 1980, 1994 and 2010.

In these seven elections, 263 of the 279 beaten incumbents were from the party that lost seats that year, or 94%.

Over the same period, there hasn't been a single “anti-incumbent” election in which the public's general unhappiness with Congress resulted in their voting out 10 or more incumbents from each party. This is true for status quo elections just as it is for wave elections. Either the Democrats get it in the neck, or else the Republicans do; never both.

Here are the last thirty seat pickup totals for either party, listed from largest to fewest: 2010, 1994, 1958, 1974, 1966, 1964, 1980, 2006, 1982, 1960, 2008, 1954, 1984, 1978, 1970, 1972, 1992, 1990, 2002, 2012, 1968, 1986, 1998, 1962, 2004, 1956, 1988, 1996, 2000, and 1976. The five largest occurred in five different decades; the five smallest also occurred in five different decades. There is no discernable pattern.

Yesterday we were discussing the GOP’s 1984 pickup of 16 seats. As you can see, that total ranked 13th-best for either party out of the House’s last 30 elections. So let’s say +16 is a good but historically unexceptional, middle-of-the-road performance.

In what years since 1952 would a 16-seat pickup by the minority party have flipped control of the House? Answer: In 1956, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008. This year, a +16 for the Democrats would have cut the Republican lead to 1 seat.

Conversely, in what years since 1952 would a 16-seat pickup by the minority party still have left them trailing by 50 or more seats? Answer: In 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1984, 1990, 1992, and 1994. In 1988, a +16 for the Republicans would have left them 49 seats back.

Do you notice anything about the way THOSE years are arranged? Any particular patterns or trends?

In the 20 Houses between 1954 and 1992, the Democrats had a 50-seat majority or greater 18 times. The average majority was 87 seats.

In the 10 Houses since 1994 (6 GOP, 4 Dems), the majority party has had a 50-seat majority or greater once. The average majority was 32 seats.

Are you starting to understand why Congress' incumbency protection rate can go up, even at the same time that control of the House is more likely to change hands?
   10159. Greg K Posted: November 27, 2012 at 04:01 AM (#4310375)
[9966] Are you finding it buggy?

Late to respond, sorry. It did crash on me once, but my computer is super wonky, pretty much all games crash on me within an hour or two of playing. I'm playing the first game with ridiculously easy AI settings to get a feel for the rules, so I can't really comment on how the AI is.
   10160. BrianBrianson Posted: November 27, 2012 at 04:31 AM (#4310379)
Non-responsive. You claimed Asian-Americans vote out of self-interest, but it's hard to reconcile that claim with the realities of the modern Dem platform. When you're a high earner and you vote for the party that wants to raise your taxes, you're not voting out of self-interest. When you're a high achiever academically and you vote for the party that wants to make it tougher for you to get into the best colleges, you're not voting out of self-interest. When you're a high performer professionally and you vote for the party that wants to make it tougher for you to get a public- or private-sector job, you're not voting out of self-interest.


It's easy enough to notice that Asian-Americans are both the wealthiest and the most educated of the relevant demographics, and the latter is driving them to vote Democrat. Your economic self-interest isn't driven solely by tax rate; a low tax rate with Republicans means you're paying a lot more user fees; and getting lower quality government services where they're still offered. With Republicans running lower quality schools, reducing kindergarten; all of a sudden you're paying more for childcare, more for chinese school/montessori, doing more fundraising so your kids can take music. You're paying less in taxes, but the extra costs make it a net negative. The less educated a demographic is, the easier it is to pull the wool over their eyes on this point.

It might not've been true in the Eisenhower years, but in my lifetime it's clear that Democrats make it easier to get a public or private sector job; not a specific one, but the increased total number of jobs. A rising tide lifts all boats, but the Republican strategy of grabbing yachts by the mast and yanking them up doesn't take the ocean with them (well, a few drops, but it's a bad gamble). It's easier to say to a low education business owner that a tax break will help them and get them to ignore the corresponding loss of customer base from layoffs of government workers, lower minimum wages, etc. than it is a high education business owner. It's a decision that it's better to be really well off among the well off, than doing okay among the doing poorly.
   10161. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 27, 2012 at 04:43 AM (#4310381)
Are you starting to understand why Congress' incumbency protection rate can go up, even at the same time that control of the House is more likely to change hands?

It still hasn't been established that Congress' "incumbency protection rate" has gone up. Incumbents who retire rather than stand for reelection don't show up in these numbers, but there has been a sizable number of them in the past 20 years. In 1994, 34 Dem incumbents lost reelection, while an additional 20 Dem incumbents retired and had their seats won by Republicans. (Six of the Dems who retired ran for other offices in '94; none won.)

Likewise, in 2010, 52 Dem incumbents lost reelection, while an additional 12 Dem incumbents retired and watched as their seats were won by the GOP. Some of those retiring incumbents might have won if they stood for reelection, but it seems unlikely that very many of them walked away from the House despite being seen as favorites to win reelection. Just in the two elections in 1994 and 2010, there were 32 potential Dem incumbent losers who don't count as losers in these stats.

In the 20 Houses between 1954 and 1992, the Democrats had a 50-seat majority or greater 18 times.

In the 10 Houses since 1994 (6 GOP, 4 Dems), the majority party has had a 50-seat majority or greater once.

I'll ask again: If the power of incumbency has been increasing over time, then what explains these shrinking majorities and the much more frequent transfers of power in the House?
   10162. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 27, 2012 at 04:57 AM (#4310382)
Your economic self-interest isn't driven solely by tax rate; a low tax rate with Republicans means you're paying a lot more user fees; and getting lower quality government services where they're still offered. With Republicans running lower quality schools, reducing kindergarten; all of a sudden you're paying more for childcare, more for chinese school/montessori, doing more fundraising so your kids can take music. You're paying less in taxes, but the extra costs make it a net negative. The less educated a demographic is, the easier it is to pull the wool over their eyes on this point.

According to the 2010 Census, here are the six states with the highest population of Asians:

1. Hawaii
2. California
3. New Jersey
4. Nevada
5. Washington
6. New York

On the whole, there hasn't been much conservative Republican governance at the state or local levels in those states lately.
   10163. BrianBrianson Posted: November 27, 2012 at 05:23 AM (#4310384)
According to the 2010 Census, here are the six states with the highest population of Asians:

1. Hawaii
2. California
3. New Jersey
4. Nevada
5. Washington
6. New York

On the whole, there hasn't been much conservative Republican governance at the state or local levels in those states lately.


This only furthers my point; you need to be a little educated about not only what's going on around you, but what's going on across America, to realize that voting Republican is against your self-interest. It's much easier to tell less educated people that they'll pay less taxes and not have them realize it'll come with less services, and they'll end up paying more for what they're already getting (or just get less, if the worsening economy means they can't afford to keep paying that much).
   10164. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 27, 2012 at 05:37 AM (#4310386)
Well, in several of the states on that list, people have been paying higher taxes and getting fewer services, so it's unclear how voting for Dems for decades has yielded great results. It's also been a while since I heard anyone raving about the schools in California, New York, or the bigger cities in New Jersey.

Regardless, after all of these comments, it's still unclear how it's in Asian-Americans' self-interest to vote for candidates who explicitly want to (1) raise their taxes, (2) make it harder for them to get into the best colleges, and (3) make it harder for them to get public- and private-sector jobs.
   10165. Greg K Posted: November 27, 2012 at 05:50 AM (#4310389)
1) How many times has this happened to you? Your driving on a major highway or thoroughfare and about a half mile ahead, at an intersection with a minor road, there is a traffic light currently green. There are no cars on either side waiting at their red. Then a car pulls up, stops momentarily before turning right. A few seconds later, your light turns yellow then red, and you have to stop and wait, for no one. Why can't city planners and traffic engineers design lights with a simple logic circuit that will wait to change the light and check 20, 30 seconds later to see if a car is still there? If so, change the light. If not, reset. Seems a no-brainer to me.

The lights are there, in part, to stop you. A sea of green causes people to speed.

They could turn to the power of the roundabout!
   10166. Greg K Posted: November 27, 2012 at 05:59 AM (#4310390)
Regardless, after all of these comments, it's still unclear how it's in Asian-Americans' self-interest to vote for candidates who explicitly want to (1) raise their taxes, (2) make it harder for them to get into the best colleges, and (3) make it harder for them to get public- and private-sector jobs.

I think for (1) it depends on ideology. If you think higher taxes are necessary for the health of the economy and society than I think it's easy to see that as in your own interest, even if in the immediate case of your tax bill it's not.

It's an ideological divide, not a selfish vs. selfess one. Some people gladly vote for governments that will tax them, and feel that they are individually deriving a long-term benefit from that.
   10167. BrianBrianson Posted: November 27, 2012 at 06:07 AM (#4310391)
it's still unclear how it's in Asian-Americans' self-interest to vote for candidates who explicitly want to (1) raise their taxes, (2) make it harder for them to get into the best colleges, and (3) make it harder for them to get public- and private-sector jobs.


The raise in taxes is more than offset by the decrease in other expenses, such as government user fees, or needing to turn to commercial providers for the same services. Since the higher taxes result in a net savings of expenditure for the household, it's in their interest.

Since it's easier to get public sector jobs when the democrats are in power (since there are more of them), and easier to get private sector jobs when the democrats are in power (since there are more of them, and more of the competition is employed in public sector jobs too), it's in their interest to vote democrat because it's easier to get a job (and generally a better paying one too, with more benefits/worker rights, unless you're truly wealthy. Asians are wealthier than other ethnic groups, but they're mostly not taking home 7+ figures). College admission is probably not in their best interest, although it may be closer to a wash when you consider they're more likely to be able to afford college, and come out to better employment prospects, with democrats in power.

   10168. Lassus Posted: November 27, 2012 at 06:41 AM (#4310394)
They could turn to the power of the roundabout!

Get thine heresy behind me, apostate of Satan.
   10169. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 27, 2012 at 06:50 AM (#4310396)
Joe's idea that "self-interest" is defined solely by obtaining the lowest possible tax rate expresses the entire cluelessness of the Republican ideology in a nutshell. Racially obtuse is but one of many polite ways of putting it.

Stop cheering on racists like Arpaio** and hiring characters like Kris Kobach as immigration "consultants", stop talking about our "food stamp president", and stop canoodling with creeps like Birtherman Trump, and you might get somewhere. Pretending that none of this matters, or trying to draw phony parallels to Joe Biden or Bill Ayers, or trying to think that this can be negated by offering lower tax rates to minority millionaires, is only adding to your problem.

Joe Kehoskie: The BTF face of 21st century Republicanism.

**Who was a visible and vocal presence at the Republican convention, a veritable folk hero to the attendees.
   10170. Blastin Posted: November 27, 2012 at 07:11 AM (#4310397)
I will say, to my happy surprise, this thread taught me that we actually do have at least one Asian poster and at least one LGBT poster. I knew we had a few black folks like me and a few women, but it's nice to see we're slightly more diverse than I figured. Kinda like how you read all this SABR writing and then they go on TV and they're all (Cameron, Neyer, Law, Keri, etc.), sigh, white nerds (aside from Rany).

Anyway, we touch on a lot of these issues and it's nice that it's not entirely people outside the groups commenting on people inside the groups.


Carry on, then.
   10171. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 08:10 AM (#4310410)
Thomas Ricks being interviewed by Fox on Benghazi

Hilarity ensues.


I've known Tom for 30 years, and I've never been more pleased to say that. FOX was fortunate that they cut him short, since he's got zero tolerance for the sort of BS that FOX's trained seals are famous for barking.


I'm genuinely interested, per my Post 10,115, in why people think Ricks scored a gotcha.
   10172. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 27, 2012 at 08:30 AM (#4310413)
Voting out of self-interest or voting selflessly? Because if Asian-Americans, the highest-earning, highest-educated demographic in America, believe they're voting out of self-interest by voting for Democrats who want to (1) raise their taxes, (2) make it harder for Asians to get into the best colleges, and (3) make it harder for Asians to get jobs in both the public and private sectors, then it appears Asian-Americans are doing it wrong.


I wanted to quote this, even though it has been discussed well prior to this, because I think it really does speak to modern GOP thought. It shows much of the core of the ideology.

#1 - Lower taxes are the best, especially for well off folks. The idea that taxes translate into a better functioning society truly never occurs to them. As Obama said they have a one point economic plan, economy doing well - Lower Taxes. Economy doing OK - Lower Taxes. Economy doing poorly - Lower Taxes. It is the one size fits all solution that addresses every ill.

#2 - Shows the blindness around race. Race matters, but it is much more than X is good for my race I'll vote for X. The two parties comprise of a whole raft of people and policies. It all speaks to everyone, not just the parts we want. We see this all the time in Joe K's cherry picked lists of Democrats who "sinned" and various GOP initiatives that result in no gain among minorities. Minorities (like all people) are a mixed bag of smart and foolish and practice identity politics, but they see the whole picture and not just the occasional Democratic gaff or GOP bone.

#3 - And every modern GOP talking point has to reference jobs. Sure their policies - like austerity in a recession, brilliant idea guys - actively hurt the job prospects of everyone, but if we pretend to care about jobs (and mention taxes again I am sure) people won't notice #4.

#4 - The social agenda. It is always there, even when the modern GOP won't mention it sometimes. To many people some or all of the agenda of we hate women, sex, minorities, LGBT folks, and basically want society back to where it was in the 1950s (or earlier) does not work for most of those groups and also doesn't work on much of the highly educated.

Anyway the post shows Joe K's best quality as a poster he does a nice job of illuminating the GOP. Arguing with him is in some ways arguing with GOP talking points.
   10173. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 27, 2012 at 08:33 AM (#4310415)
I'm genuinely interested, per my Post 10,115, in why people think Ricks scored a gotcha.


So you are really not clear why someone calling Fox essentially an arm of the GOP propaganda machine right after being called an expert would amuse people who think it self evident that the GOP is an arm of the GOP propaganda machine?
   10174. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 08:38 AM (#4310418)
So you are really not clear why someone calling Fox essentially an arm of the GOP propaganda machine right after being called an expert would amuse people who think it self evident that the GOP is an arm of the GOP propaganda machine?


Oh, is that all the link was being cited for? I thought people were crowing that Ricks had made a winning substantive point. Because as far as I can tell, his substantive point was utterly irrelevant.
   10175. spike Posted: November 27, 2012 at 08:40 AM (#4310419)
Because if Asian-Americans, the highest-earning, highest-educated demographic in America, believe they're voting out of self-interest by voting for Democrats

Apparently it's going around - the 10 best educated states and 13 of the 14 highest earning ones voted Obama, and 9 of the 10 least educated, and the bottom 10 in income voted Romney.
   10176. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 27, 2012 at 08:47 AM (#4310421)
Oh, is that all the link was being cited for?


I did not cite it, so I don't know. That is why it amused me. Benghazi is a non-story (and a boring one at that) so I am doing my best to ignore the "Conspiracy OMG!" silliness around it. At some point the rational review of the incident will be done and we will likely find out what happened.
   10177. spike Posted: November 27, 2012 at 08:49 AM (#4310424)
Also, interestingly enough, 13 of the 14 most obese states went to Romney, and 9 of the 10 least to Obama
   10178. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: November 27, 2012 at 08:53 AM (#4310426)
The lights are there, in part, to stop you. A sea of green causes people to speed.


I don't buy it. Knowing that green in front of me may change any second for no reason causes me to speed.
   10179. zonk Posted: November 27, 2012 at 09:07 AM (#4310431)
Because if Asian-Americans, the highest-earning, highest-educated demographic in America, believe they're voting out of self-interest by voting for Democrats

Apparently it's going around - the 10 best educated states and 13 of the 14 highest earning ones voted Obama, and 9 of the 10 least educated, and the bottom 10 in income voted Romney.


That's all just so delicious... especially in light of the 47% comments...
   10180. McCoy Posted: November 27, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4310454)
I don't buy it. Knowing that green in front of me may change any second for no reason causes me to speed.

You don't have to buy it but it is still true.
   10181. zonk Posted: November 27, 2012 at 09:50 AM (#4310458)
Interesting things afoot on the filibuster -- and McConnell is throwing a hissy fit about it...

There's not a final package, but the three things on the table look entirely reasonable and proper to me, even accepting that there's a decent shot the Dems lose their Senate majority in 2014, I see no problem with them.

The two proposed changes are:

1) Making 'motions to proceed' non-debateable... This was a practice significantly abused by the GOP minority -- in effect, it's not even a filibuster, it's more like a "pre-filibuster" that prevents a bill from even moving to the floor for debate (and thus eventually, a cloture vote, where the 'true' filibuster would happen). It was a rather clever way to make the GOP's abuse of the filibuster look not as bad as it really was (by essentially making what were in reality 'filibusters'/holds on legislation by denying motions to proceed something else that had the same impact as an actual, 'counted' filibuster).

2) Returning to the 'old' filibuster rules -- in effect, no more quiet/pocket filibusters... The filibuster would still be available and still require the current 60 votes to overcome -- but there would have to be an actual "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" type filibuster -- as in, a quorum with an obstructing Senator actually needing to hold the floor and keep talking.

There's a third issue -- in order to change the rules, the Dems are using a bit of arcane chicanery to make the rule changes a simple majority vote as opposed to 67 votes...

But in the end, both of these changes seem entirely reasonable, proper, and good ideas. The minority party can still obstruct, but now they simply have to do it in broad daylight.

As I said, even should the Democrats lose the Senate in 2014 -- I have no problem operating under these rules as a minority party. If a bill is important/bad enough to filibuster, then I have no problem with Durbin, Leahy, Sanders, or whomever taking to the floor and rolling the dice on getting 41 votes to keep it going.
   10182. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 27, 2012 at 09:50 AM (#4310459)
Thomas Ricks being interviewed by Fox on Benghazi

Hilarity ensues.


I've known Tom for 30 years, and I've never been more pleased to say that. FOX was fortunate that they cut him short, since he's got zero tolerance for the sort of BS that FOX's trained seals are famous for barking.

I'm genuinely interested, per my Post 10,115, in why people think Ricks scored a gotcha.


Ricks noted the disproportionate amount of attention given by FOX to Benghazi, and contrasted it to the total lack of attention to the several hundreds of security contractors who were killed in Iraq. He then noted that he'd covered many skirmishes ("firefights") similar to Benghazi and said that it's almost impossible in many cases to determine exactly what had happened. He then made the comment that the Benghazi story had been made into a political issue by FOX, which (he noted) has been operating as "a wing of the Republican Party". At that point he was rather abruptly cut off.

It wasn't a "gotcha", and I never said that it was. But it's not exactly an everyday occurrence when one of the world's leading military experts---acknowledged as such by the military itself---calls out FOX for its overhyped and biased coverage right there on their own camera, and causes them to cut short the interview. You really need to watch that video again.
   10183. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 27, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4310463)
The proposed changes seem like really weak sauce to me, but I am hardly an expert on Senate arcana. It does give the GOP an excuse to have a sad and engage in more obstruction (if that is possible).

The next four years are likely going to be much like the last four, Obama able to do stuff when he has leverage, but other than that not much legislative happens. That is why I want him to leverage the heck out of the fiscal cliff.
   10184. OCF Posted: November 27, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4310468)
Well, in several of the states on that list, people have been paying higher taxes and getting fewer services, so it's unclear how voting for Dems for decades has yielded great results. It's also been a while since I heard anyone raving about the schools in California, New York, or the bigger cities in New Jersey.

The statement that "there's not a whole lot of conservative Republican governance" isn't quite so. Howard Jarvis never held statewide office, and has been dead for a while, but is still quite relevant to governance in California. And don't fall for the "taxes in California are high, high, high, higher than anywhere" line. California has high income taxes, high but narrow sales taxes, and low property taxes. It's a mixed bag, and it results in California spending a rather low per-pupil amount on public schools.
   10185. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 27, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4310469)
You really need to watch that video again.


The cowardly nature of Fox being completely unable to handle it is what got me. I can see being annoyed he didn't stick to the point (bringing up Iraq contractors is a bit of a reach, not out of line but somewhat off topic) and he did insult the "host", but you take it and finish the interview - and then never invite him on again. By doing what they did they showed insecurity and guarenteed it would be seen by many more people on YouTube.
   10186. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 27, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4310473)
(* Just out of curiosity, what exactly has the GOP done to be seen as anti-Asian such that Asians allegedly recoil from the GOP due to anti-Asian racism?


Personally I don't know, but my wife and her family are all Asians, so maybe I should ask them why they have all (but 1) become ex-Republicans the past 5-10 years...

   10187. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4310475)
The proposed changes seem like really weak sauce to me, but I am hardly an expert on Senate arcana.
Me too, but even getting 50 Dems to agree on the changes is a big step forward from 2009, when the whole party establishment had their fingers in their ears and their eyes shut in regards to procedural reform. This is the first step on the road to a moderately sane legislative structure in the US. (My hope is that when the GOP takes control of the Senate again, they throw us in that briar patch over there and ditch the filibuster altogether.)

This will have no effect on policy-making, since the veto point in the system is the GOP-controlled House anyway. The short-term goal of these reforms is to shame Senators into allowing various nominations to proceed, and since nominations tend to be of Washington cronies, it might even work a little bit.
   10188. Ron J2 Posted: November 27, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4310484)
what exactly has the GOP done to be seen as anti-Asian

They have to convince them that US nativism really only applies to black and brown people, I guess.


I don't think Asians generally vote Democrat because of racial concerns (at least not primarily). Best I can tell (to turn this back on Romney's "takers" etc) they're enthusiastic "givers".

As a group they are extremely supportive of the notion that government can do good things -- and are willing to pay their share (and are willing to make others do so too). And since they're pretty well off as a group they tend to pay more than they get out directly. (It may be that they buy the argument that goes back to Teddy R. -- that the well off benefit disproportionately from stability.)



   10189. zonk Posted: November 27, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4310485)
The proposed changes seem like really weak sauce to me, but I am hardly an expert on Senate arcana.

Me too, but even getting 50 Dems to agree on the changes is a big step forward from 2009, when the whole party establishment had their fingers in their ears and their eyes shut in regards to procedural reform. This is the first step on the road to a moderately sane legislative structure in the US.

This will have no effect on policy-making, since the veto point in the system is the GOP-controlled House anyway. The short-term goal of these reforms is to shame Senators into allowing various nominations to proceed, and since nominations tend to be of Washington cronies, it might even work a little bit.


Well, I think the nuclear option -- eliminating the filibuster entirely -- might be a bridge too far... what this does is basically return filibuster-based obstructionism to its form from yesteryear. Sure, it was sometimes abused then, too -- but you couldn't "pocket filibuster" by objecting to motions to proceed (thus, effectively filibustering without it being 'counted' as filibuster) and you couldn't just say "we've got 41 votes, so don't even bother".

If the Senate is the cooling saucer that proceeds cautiously -- I think this is fine, fine stuff for a first step.
   10190. BurlyBuehrle Posted: November 27, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4310490)
No, there was no goalpost-shifting or dishonest argument. I've asked you the same question repeatedly -- if incumbency is more powerful now, then what explains the House flipping in 1994, 2006, and 2010? -- but apparently you have no answer.


This is laughable. First, re-read my posts wherein I've asked you questions. Have you answered any of them? (Hint: no.)

Second, when I initially described the increase in HoR incumbency as "marginal," and your response is "well if it is SO POWERFUL, how do you explain X?" (see 10148) that is dishonest - you've mischaracterized me as taking the position that HoR incumbency is "so powerful." I don't mind explaining things like this over and over, because it makes you look silly.

Third, I have answered this line of argumentation, but will do so again: the answer is that if you want to measure incumbency, the best way to do so is to look at the percentage of incumbents standing for re-election who won their seats. I've done that, and have linked the source for the figures. And the simple fact is that in the period 1982 to 2010, 94% won re-election; compared to 91% in the period 1964 to 1980. Choose different endpoints if you want and come up with the figures if you think it will change the calculus. But the bottom line is that your assertion pertained to *incumbency,* not *the House flipping parties.* If you want to have that discussion, we can have it, but first, are you capable of conceding that maybe -- just maybe -- the best way to measure incumbency is to look at, well, incumbency?

That you can't even concede that 94 > 91 is one demonstration (among many) of your obtuse refusal ever to even consider that you might be wrong. (Admitting that you're occasionally wrong actually increases your credibility in a discussion.) The play-by-play goes like this: you stated that you "believed" that incumbency had not grown more powerful in the past ~30 years. When that belief was challenged and falsified by examining facts, you changed the argument to "explain the House flipping sides more often in recent times," without, of course, ever stating "it does look like incumbency has gotten a little stronger in the past ~30 years." That is quintessential goalpost shifting, irrespective of whether you can see it as such.

Now tell us about the 17 or 18 Democratic incumbents who retired in 1994 and whose seats were won by Republicans. Did they all get sick of their cushy lives in the House, or did they maybe read the political tea leaves?


Irrelevant to a discussion of incumbency. If an incumbent Representative retires without standing for re-election, then there is no incumbent. This is relevant to a discussion of the House flipping parties, but it has nothing to do with the isolated issue of incumbency.


I'll ask again: If the power of incumbency has been increasing over time, then what explains these shrinking majorities and the much more frequent transfers of power in the House?


Let's try it this way: if incumbency has NOT been increasing over time, then what explains the fact that a greater percentage of incumbents win re-election (1982 to 2010) than did before (1964 to 1980)? And how does that explanation negate the simple fact that more incumbents won?
   10191. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: November 27, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4310491)
Steve Kornacki on the filibuster reforms:


But the two-prong reform package that Democrats appear to be working on won’t actually do much.

Banning filibusters on the motion to proceed doesn’t mean that Republicans (or, when they’re in the minority in a future Senate, Democrats) won’t still be able to kill any legislation with 41 votes. It just means they’ll first have to let the legislation come to the floor, instead of preemptively blocking it with the threat of a filibuster. But once it’s on the floor, they’ll be able to filibuster all they want, leaving today’s reality of a 60-vote Senate unchanged.

But, the thinking of wishful Democrats goes, maybe things will play out differently if Republicans have to engage in real filibusters while bills are being debated. Let Republicans spend hours, or days, holding up Senate business while taking turns railing against a popular piece of Democratic legislation and see how the public reacts! The GOP will be shamed into relenting and will think twice about mounting similar efforts in the future, returning the filibuster to its traditional break-glass-in-case-of-emergency role.

But that’s almost certainly not what would happen. As Jonathan Bernstein has been arguing, this reasoning mistakenly assumes that Republicans aren’t proud of stalling a Democratic president’s agenda. But they are, of course, and there’s no reason to think that dozens of them wouldn’t jump at the chance to fulminate against Obama’s latest unconscionable power grab involving…whatever the issue of the moment happens to be. The individual Republican senators would be treated as heroes in the conservative media bubble, and the same pressure to go along that now binds all Senate Republicans together would still prevail.

Ultimately, it would be the Democrats who’d think twice about forcing a talking filibuster, once it became clear that Republicans would have no problem engaging in one for as long as possible on just about any issue.

This means that if – or when – Democrats pass their reforms in January, the most important aspect of modern Senate life won’t change: It will still take 60 votes to do anything. But that doesn’t guarantee that reform will be a total failure. Assuming Democrats go through with it, it will at least establish a new modern precedent for changing the rules with a simple majority vote. If the reforms fail to change much, Democrats might then feel less restrained about making more dramatic alterations two years from now. The threat of that could also have an effect Republicans, giving them an incentive not to encourage Democrats to go down that road.


Salon.
   10192. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 27, 2012 at 10:19 AM (#4310493)
Well, I think the nuclear option -- eliminating the filibuster entirely -- might be a bridge too far...
If a majority can't govern, government can't work. The minority party can't have veto power over the majority, because it creates wildly unhealthy incentives. The Republicans actively harmed the nation's economy in furtherance of their political goals. You can't design a system that allows a party to obstruct and then take electoral credit for the obstruction. If the majority party passes their legislation and that is unpopular, the public can vote in a new majority. That's how representative democracy works.

(Having a bi-cameral legislature is more than enough "cooling" as it is. If a party has control of the executive and both houses, they have to be able to govern.)
   10193. zonk Posted: November 27, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4310498)
I disagree with Kornacki --

The GOP likes to play up its obstructionism to its base -- but not to the general public. The 'quiet filibuster' and the 'pocket filibuster' gave them the best of both worlds -- they could block legislation and crow about it on AM radio or in mailings, but there was no multi-day spectacle to play out on the cable nets and eventually, make its way onto the nightly news.

That's going to change.

They'll still be able to block legislation, sure -- but it won't be quiet and anonymous anymore.
   10194. spike Posted: November 27, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4310501)
As Jonathan Bernstein has been arguing, this reasoning mistakenly assumes that Republicans aren’t proud of stalling a Democratic president’s agenda

I don't think anyone assumes Republicans aren't proud of this - quite the contrary, both their supporters and detractors take great pains to say that they ARE proud of it - the point is to put them on the public record on C-Span for a couple of days doing it, and making the case to the public that this is obstructionism for it's own sake rather than debate.
   10195. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 27, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4310502)
At least for this Congress, "legislation" isn't the issue. Anything that can pass Boehner's House will get a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

The issue is judicial and executive appointments. And as I said, the hope is that having to actively filibuster individuals - individuals that you probably interact with regularly at cocktail parties, or at least that your friends and advisers and donors do - will have a small shaming effect on the use of the filibuster for appointments. It might not. I'd probably bet against the effect appearing in any real way. But it's worth a shot, especially considering that moving toward eliminating the filibuster is among the most important leftish goals of our time.
   10196. Ron J2 Posted: November 27, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4310503)
Can't edit my post. #10058 has good points about the relatively recent past and how Asian have voted. Worth re-thinking my position.
   10197. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 27, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4310504)
re Asians and the GOP -- Everyone seems to assume that immigration is only an issue for Latinos, but most Asians in this country are either new immigrants or first or second generation. *Illegal* immigration might not be as important for Asians, but I'm sure they're very concerned about harsh limits on immigration and hostility to immigrants generally.
   10198. zonk Posted: November 27, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4310505)

I don't think anyone assumes Republicans aren't proud of this - quite the contrary, both their supporters and detractors take great pains to say that they ARE proud of it - the point is to put them on the public record on C-Span for a couple of days doing it, and making the case to the public that this is obstructionism for it's own sake rather than debate.


Precisely.

Most people don't know or don't care before a bunch things called 'S. yada yada' not even making it to the floor for debate and cloture don't even make the news.

Someone talking for 15 hours will -- and now, that will be the only way to actually filibuster.
   10199. spike Posted: November 27, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4310506)
The cowardly nature of Fox being completely unable to handle it is what got me.

Precisely. And the follow up is even more delightful.

Fox News: Ricks Apologized For Criticism, Ricks: No I Didn't

Fox News Channel executive vice president Michael Clemente on Monday responded to the much-discussed interview with Tom Ricks, claiming that the Pulitizer Prize winner apologized privately for criticizing the network's coverage of the September attack in Benghazi, Libya. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Clemente accused Ricks of using the interview to generate publicity for his new book, The Generals. Clemente also seemed to take exception to the lack of public contrition from Ricks.

“When Mr. Ricks ignored the anchor’s question, it became clear that his goal was to bring attention to himself -- and his book," Clemente told THR via email. "He apologized in our offices afterward but doesn’t have the strength of character to do that publicly."

But that's news to Ricks, who told THR in his own email that he never offered an apology to Fox — privately or publicly.

"Please ask Mr. Clemente what the words of my supposed apology were. I'd be interested to know," Ricks said. "Frankly, I don't remember any such apology."
   10200. Shredder Posted: November 27, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4310510)
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