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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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   8301. JL Posted: November 15, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4303378)
That said, I find it pretty incredible that the Petraeus story broke just in the normal humdrum course of justice immediately after the election. Somebody or somebodies were sitting on it – Democrats for fear of scandal, Republicans for fear that they'd be seen as politicizing national security if they'd broken it, yielding a backlash, who knows? Obama himself may not have known. I wouldn't blame him for keeping it under wraps if he did.

I tend to think there is a lot in play here. Agents and even Holder wanting to make sure that there really was something here, as well as making sure that they knew what was at issue. Political folks wanting to sit on this as long as reasonably possible, so double checking to make sure that everything was done by the book invesitgation wise. Unsure about how releasing this would be perceived (including Cantor).

I am not a fan of simple, one reason explanations regarding human behavior in these types of situations, because there is generally a lot of things be considered. They end up being intertwined.
   8302. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 15, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4303379)
Is there really a big fear of actually going to law enforcement


Have you ever had to ask law enforcement to do anything that doesn't involve them getting to bust some heads?
   8303. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 15, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4303380)
Relying on internet claims is always a bad strategy.


I'm not "relying on" internet claims. I'm just saying that there have been many claims, some with actual names associated to them, of going to the polling station to vote only to find out someone had already used that name to vote. I don't believe that every single person on Twitter is lying. Most of them might be, but I personally do not believe it is all.
   8304. Steve Treder Posted: November 15, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4303381)
I am not horrified that he got re-elected.

Glad to hear it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't you say in one of these threads a few months ago, words something to the effect of dreading an Obama win and wishing strongly against it? Am I mis-remembering?
   8305. Dan The Mediocre Posted: November 15, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4303384)
Why is twitter a more believable than say, the comments section on a Yahoo or newspaper comments section? Because you can find just as many such claims there, too...

I mean, I actually like twitter - but the signal to noise ratio isn't a whole lot better than those older internet forums where we are led to believe that Billy actually does run a Fortune 500 company and does claim X.

We're still talking about unverified internet chatter not attached to a real name or person... if the claims have any merit, then why tweet it? Is there really a big fear of actually going to law enforcement - or - putting up verifiable contact information?


This also doesn't eliminate human error. Even if the poll workers keeping the books are 99.9% accurate, that's still 1 in 1000 that's a miss, or 121,700 or so errors. And given how many elderly people end up working polls because they are basically certain they could do it, I think most people running the actual election would be ecstatic with a 99.9% success rate.
   8306. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 15, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4303387)
I tend to think there is a lot in play here. Agents and even Holder wanting to make sure that there really was something here, as well as making sure that they knew what was at issue.

Again, what's the source for the assertion that Holder actually knew about this in the Summer?
   8307. DA Baracus Posted: November 15, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4303391)
but many Twitter users reported that they either showed up to vote and had been informed they had already voted (when they had not) or bragged that they voted more than once


I only voted once but on my Twitter I said I voted 7 times. Just to have a little laugh at people that think it means anything.
   8308. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 15, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4303393)
but on my Twitter I said I voted 7 times


What's your Twitter handle?
   8309. DA Baracus Posted: November 15, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4303394)
What's your Twitter handle?


Here is the tweet for your convenience.
   8310. Jack Keefe Posted: November 15, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4303396)
Ops I said hear on Primer that I voded but Al that can not be I do not Exist. Let me Clairolfy. They do not let Fictional Made Up People vote in Indiana. Whew that was a close 1 Al it could of ended up on Tweeter.
   8311. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 15, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4303398)
Here is the tweet for your convenience.


Thanks.
   8312. DA Baracus Posted: November 15, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4303402)
I'm curious, why did you want it?
   8313. JuanGone..except1game Posted: November 15, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4303405)
I'm curious, why did you want it?


I'm guessing he just didn't believe you and I'm just hoping that Rants isn't out to cause trouble.
   8314. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 15, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4303415)
I'm guessing he just didn't believe you and I'm just hoping that Rants isn't out to cause trouble.


Yes, I just wanted to see it. I'm not a trouble maker, and I don't knowlingly spew lies on the internet, unlike everyone on Twitter apparently.
   8315. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 15, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4303417)
I generally am the first person to ask such atheist groups to please get off my side, but after reading the article I was more sympathetic than I thought I would be.

The lawsuit also refers to "Pulpit Freedom Sunday," a national event on Oct. 7 in which more than 1,500 pastors endorsed a candidate from the pulpit and then sent a record of their statement to the IRS, hoping their challenge would eventually end up in court.


For the past three years, the IRS hasn't been investigating complaints of partisan political activity by churches, leaving religious groups who make direct or thinly veiled endorsements of political candidates unchallenged.


This might be the rare nutty atheist group sues story where I don't just wish they would shut up.
   8316. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 15, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4303419)
Glad to hear it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't you say in one of these threads a few months ago, words something to the effect of dreading an Obama win and wishing strongly against it? Am I mis-remembering?


I don't recall saying anything that strong, no. I certainly hoped he would not be re-elected. His worldview doesn't align with mine.

As I've said, I don't see him and Romney as all that far apart, despite the comically holier-than-thou attitude of liberals here w/r/t Romney. If you're standing between Obama and Romney or on one of their sides and completely oblivious to any other viewpoints - sure. But in the real world "liberal" and "conservative" or "Democrat" and "Republican" do not complete the set. Elect a libertarian and you'll see an example of this.
   8317. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 15, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4303423)
Elect a libertarian and you'll see an example of this.


No thank you.
   8318. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 15, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4303424)
Elect a libertarian and you'll see an example of this.


If anyone wants a good read, and a clue as to what Ray means, read Ron Paul's Congressional farewell speech from the other day.

   8319. DA Baracus Posted: November 15, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4303425)
Yes, I just wanted to see it. I'm not a trouble maker, and I don't knowlingly spew lies on the internet, unlike everyone on Twitter apparently.


Twitter's for 3 types of people:

1. Reporters reporting actual news.
2. People ####### around.
3. People getting up in arms about non-news.

Most of us fall into category 2.
   8320. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: November 15, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4303428)
despite the comically holier-than-thou attitude of liberals here w/r/t Romney.


It's a good thing the conservatives here don't have a comically holier-than-though attitude toward Obama!
   8321. JL Posted: November 15, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4303429)
I tend to think there is a lot in play here. Agents and even Holder wanting to make sure that there really was something here, as well as making sure that they knew what was at issue.

Again, what's the source for the assertion that Holder actually knew about this in the Summer?


I should have stated "assuing Holder knew." I have no idea if he did know, but think that even if he did, I suspect there was a fair amount of taking it slow and making sure he knew what the problem was.
   8322. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 15, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4303430)
Nixon certainly had a nice lead over the putative nominee McGovern at the time of the break-in but I don't think anyone saw a 60-37 landslide in the offing at that point.

In August 1971, the Harris Poll had Ed Muskie ahead of Nixon. Muskie lost his momentum and mojo in March 1972 following the "Canuck letter" trick. Another poll in April 1972 had Nixon and McGovern tied at 41%, with George Wallace getting 18%. In May, Wallace was shot, paralyzed, and out of the race. In June, the Watergate was broken into. In July, the Democrats nominated McGovern. On August 1, McGovern was forced to dump Tom Eagleton* from the ticket; already losing ground in the polls, McGovern soon plunged to greater and greater depths. Gallup's final poll was pretty close to the actual numbers.

If the election had been scheduled for New Year's Day 1973 -- or if Arthur Bremer had gone to a Wallace rally in February -- or if Nixon wasn't worrying that Ted Kennedy was somehow going to parachute out of the sky, sprinkle his Kennedy dust over the convention, and seize the nomination-- there's a chance that the Watergate break-in is cancelled due to a simple lack of perceived necessity. Well, probably not, since Nixon was born a conniving paranoid. But going month to month provides some interesting context.

*Amusingly, it was Eagleton who had anonymously given Bob Novak the "amnesty, abortion and acid" line.
   8323. Lassus Posted: November 15, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4303433)
despite the comically holier-than-thou attitude of liberals here w/r/t Romney.

Holier-than-thou? That's a phrase that wouldn't have occured to me. About what?
   8324. Ron J2 Posted: November 15, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4303441)
The idea that the AG should have more information than the President as to a potential breach of security involving the director of the CIA is utterly fantastical.


Not to me Ray. AG is a full time job. He knows more than the President about a lot of ongoing investigations. This one never reached the level of "Is national security being impacted" or "Do we have to revoke Petraeus' security clearance?"

Yeah it reached a level where Petraeus felt compelled to resign. Not the same thing to my mind.
   8325. phredbird Posted: November 15, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4303444)
well, he's not running anymore so i guess he can just take off the filters.

the guy is the gift that keeps giving.

even bobby jindal is distancing himself from this.
   8326. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 15, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4303447)
Elect a libertarian and you'll see an example of this.


What if we can't wait that long?
   8327. Steve Treder Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4303454)
the guy is the gift that keeps giving.

even bobby jindal is distancing himself from this.


It is a bit jaw-dropping, isn't it. What in the world does Romney think he, or the GOP, has to gain from him saying this stuff? Doesn't he comprehend the basic common sense principle that at a time like this, the best thing he can do is say nothing at all beyond bland boiler-plate bromides?

   8328. Chicago Joe Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4303458)
Elect a libertarian and you'll see an example of this.


Or you'll see someone sitting all alone in the Senate, until he/she knuckles under.
   8329. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4303463)
Or you'll see someone sitting all alone in the Senate, until he/she knuckles under.


I think a Libertarian president might be able to influence some things (Drugs and other neforcement issues, Foreign Policy, possible SC and other judge nominations) but by and large to do much you would need a whole successful party with legislative help.

Do Libertarians even have any say in countries with palimentary systems that are more favorable to third parties than the US? I feel like I should know, but I don't. I know there are Green parties, communist parties, sundry religious and geographical parties, and it seems like every nation has a hard right reactionary party, but I am not aware of any Libertarian parties.
   8330. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4303472)
Not to me Ray. AG is a full time job. He knows more than the President about a lot of ongoing investigations. This one never reached the level of "Is national security being impacted" or "Do we have to revoke Petraeus' security clearance?"


It certainly reached the former. How could it not have? It had reached the level, weeks before the election, where the FBI had to ask both Broadwell and Petraeus how she ended up with classified documents on her computer.

As to the AG knowing more than the president about a lot of ongoing investigations, sure. About civil rights cases. Corruption charges. Etc. Not about investigations involving the freaking head of the CIA and potential security breaches stemming from that.

   8331. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4303473)
In other news unrelated to jack-hatted navel-gazing about US elections, Bibi's decided the best way to win reelection in Israel is by blowing up some Gazans. So at least we don't have that going on here.
   8332. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4303474)
As I've said, I don't see him and Romney as all that far apart, despite the comically holier-than-thou attitude of liberals here w/r/t Romney. If you're standing between Obama and Romney or on one of their sides and completely oblivious to any other viewpoints - sure. But in the real world "liberal" and "conservative" or "Democrat" and "Republican" do not complete the set. Elect a libertarian and you'll see an example of this.

Sure, and elect a Communist and you'll see an even greater example, which would prove just about as much (i.e. nothing) about the similarities between Romney and Obama as the example you're mentioning.

----------------------------------

I tend to think there is a lot in play here. Agents and even Holder wanting to make sure that there really was something here, as well as making sure that they knew what was at issue.

Again, what's the source for the assertion that Holder actually knew about this in the Summer?

I should have stated "assuing Holder knew." I have no idea if he did know,


Yeah, that wasn't directed at you, anyway, but at the other person who keeps repeating this unsubstantiated assertion as if it were common knowledge, in spite of the fact that no reputable news organization has to date backed it up.

but think that even if he did, I suspect there was a fair amount of taking it slow and making sure he knew what the problem was.

Absolutely correct, although that common sense thought won't hold water with people who think that these decisions should be left to a rogue FBI agent and whatever congressman he can find on his contact list.
   8333. BDC Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4303476)
What in the world does Romney think he, or the GOP, has to gain from him saying this stuff?

Particularly hilarious is that even if Romney were a good deal righter than he is about Obama's policies – even if Obama had spent the last four years shoveling goodies into the trunks of special constituencies, instead of being the fairly restrained centrist he's been – that would be politics as absolutely usual. Did Romney think that well-off people voted for 43 in 2004 because they soberly weighed his fine statesmanship? And that cutting their taxes by a boatload was a non-factor?
   8334. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4303479)
As to the AG knowing more than the president about a lot of ongoing investigations, sure. About civil rights cases. Corruption charges. Etc. Not about investigations involving the freaking head of the CIA and potential security breaches.

You mean like the potential security breach of an FBI agent bypassing his superiors and trying to find some congressman to make a political stink about it?
   8335. smileyy Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4303480)
I am unsure on vote by mail


King County (the county Seattle is in) predominantly votes by ballots mailed to voters, which they can mail back or drop off. You can also go to a set of polling places -- I believe this is targeted at those who need assistance voting.

The mailed ballot part is fabulous. You fill out your ballot, put it into an opaque security envelope, then put that into an outer envelope which is signed by the voter, confirming that its their vote, that they're eligible to vote, etc.
   8336. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4303481)
Did Romney think that well-off people voted for 43 in 2004 because they soberly weighed his fine statesmanship? And that cutting their taxes by a boatload was a non-factor?

The return on those billionaires' and multi-millionaires' contributions in the form of keeping their marginal tax rates down would likely have been over 100 to 1. But unlike those Democratic takers, these casino moguls, hedge funds artists and oil field wildcatters are all just good American patriots who want what's best for their country.
   8337. The Good Face Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4303482)
Do Libertarians even have any say in countries with palimentary systems that are more favorable to third parties than the US? I feel like I should know, but I don't. I know there are Green parties, communist parties, sundry religious and geographical parties, and it seems like every nation has a hard right reactionary party, but I am not aware of any Libertarian parties.


The ACT Party in New Zealand could be reasonably described as libertarian, and has had as many as 9 MPs out of 120 in the NZ House of Representatives as recently as 2002.
   8338. Langer Monk Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4303483)
That Maine GOPer was clearly misinterpreted. After all:

“I have a couple friends that I play basketball with who are black and I’m sure I’m going to get a few elbows that next time we play,” he joked.


See? At least they aren't his "best friends".

And that cutting their taxes by a boatload was a non-factor?


Those aren't 'things' or 'gifts', clearly.
   8339. spycake Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4303484)
Is it because your Muslim Representative has brainwashed you?

From your posts I suspect (am guessing) you are in Ellison's district. He seems like a good egg.

Yes. (To Ellison's district, that is. Not so much the brainwashing, I hope, although I guess I shouldn't know, assuming it is done properly)

He seems like a perfectly cromulent congressman. I actually think the whole Minnesota delegation is pretty good in that regard, with one notable exception. ;)
   8340. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4303486)
“I have a couple friends that I play basketball with who are black


Well yeah, what else are you going to do with them?
   8341. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4303488)
Do Libertarians even have any say in countries with palimentary systems that are more favorable to third parties than the US? I feel like I should know, but I don't. I know there are Green parties, communist parties, sundry religious and geographical parties, and it seems like every nation has a hard right reactionary party, but I am not aware of any Libertarian parties.


A libertarian party has about a sixth of the seats in Costa Rica's parliament. There's a Danish libertarian party that would get ~15% of the vote in the '70s, but they've been out of parliament for a while now. Iceland has had libertarians in the Althing (best parliament name ever!) but there are none right now. There's a Flemish libertarian party that I think has a couple of seats in the Belgian assembly. They're completely off the radar in most other places.
   8342. smileyy Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4303489)
[8340] Learn what's cool now?
   8343. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4303491)
Lots of sneering about Romney's comments. Ok, which portions of Romney's comments are you liberals disputing, exactly? I'm not talking about whether Obama's actions were an "election strategy" or whether they "swung the election" or produced a win for Obama; rather, I'm asking, specifically, whether liberals agree that Obama promised these things to these various groups - and if liberals disagree that he did this, which parts are disagreed with.

Quoting:

Mitt Romney said Wednesday that his loss to President Obama was due in large part to his rival's strategy of giving "gifts" during his first term to three groups that were pivotal in the results of last week's election: African Americans, Latinos and young voters.

"The Obama campaign was following the old playbook of giving a lot of stuff to groups that they hoped they could get to vote for them and be motivated to go out to the polls, specifically the African American community, the Hispanic community and young people," Romney told hundreds of donors during a telephone town hall Wednesday. "In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups."

Young voters, Romney said, were motivated by the administration's plan for partial forgiveness of college loan interest, the extension of health coverage for students up to age 26 on their parents' insurance plans and free contraception coverage under Obama's healthcare plan, which he credited with ushering greater numbers of college-age women into Obama's coalition.

The extended insurance coverage, in particular, was "a big gift to young people," he said, noting that they turned out as a "larger share in this election even than in 2008."

Romney said the Obama healthcare plan's promise of coverage "in perpetuity" was behind the intensity of support for the president among African American voters making $25,000 to $35,000, as well as Hispanic voters:

"With regards to African American voters, 'Obamacare' was a huge plus — and was highly motivational to African American voters. You can imagine for somebody making $25—, or $30—, or $35,000 a year, being told you're now going to get free healthcare — particularly if you don't have it, getting free healthcare worth, what, $10,000 a family, in perpetuity, I mean this is huge. Likewise with Hispanic voters, free healthcare was a big plus."

Pivoting to immigration, Romney said the Obama campaign's efforts to paint him as "anti-immigrant" had been effective and that the administration's promise to offer what he called "amnesty" to the children of undocumented immigrants had helped turn out Latino voters in record numbers.

"With regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for the children of illegals — the so-called Dream Act kids — was a huge plus for that voting group," he said. "On the negative side, of course, they always characterized us as being anti-immigrant, being tough on illegal immigration, and so forth, so that was very effective with that group."

"The president's campaign," he said, "focused on giving targeted groups a big gift — so he made a big effort on small things. Those small things, by the way, add up to trillions of dollars."
   8344. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4303493)
Thanks everyone for the 'Libertarians around the world' update, as always I continue to learn.
   8345. spike Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4303495)
Well yeah, what else are you going to do with them?

Compare driving techniques?
   8346. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4303498)
Ok, which portions of Romney's comments are you liberals disputing, exactly?


Governments are generally expected to do things that help out its citizens. That is much of the point of a government. Programs that help its citizens are not actually gifts. The assumption that said "gifts" are the only reason anyone would vote for Obama. The implicit belief that tax breaks for the wealthy is not just as much of a "gift" as anything Romney mentioned. And other content issues.

There is also the fact that it comes across as sour grapes when generally post election is about coming together and healing wounds (not whining). Plus the stylistic fact that seemingly everyone is to blame but Romney. He ran a terrible campaign and seemingly has no awarness of that fact.

Other than that he is spot on.

EDIT: Obviously this is not from "Liberals" and is just my opinion.
   8347. spike Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4303499)
Ok, which portions of Romney's comments are you liberals disputing, exactly?

Why aren't you asking this of Kelly Ayotte, Jindal, Frum,Matt Lewis, and the many other Republicans who thought this was really publicly took issue with them?
   8348. Ron J2 Posted: November 15, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4303500)
It certainly reached the former. How could it not have? It had reached the level, weeks before the election, where the FBI had to ask both Broadwell and Petraeus how she ended up with classified documents on her computer.


Don't see it. There's classified and there's "national security impacted". I know all about classification sprawl. So presumably do the folks investigating the matter.
   8349. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4303501)

Lots of sneering about Romney's comments. Ok, which portions of Romney's comments are you liberals disputing, exactly? I'm not talking about whether Obama's actions were an "election strategy" or whether they "swung the election" or produced a win for Obama; rather, I'm asking, specifically, whether liberals agree that Obama promised these things to these various groups - and if liberals disagree that he did this, which parts are disagreed with.


The implication that voting one's economic interests is 'interest-group politics' deserving of moral censure when practiced by Democratic voters, but not when practiced by white Republican voters.
   8350. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4303502)
Governments are generally expected to do things that help out its citizens. That is much of the point of a government. Programs that help its citizens are not actually gifts. The assumption that said "gifts" are the only reason anyone would vote for Obama. The implicit belief that tax breaks for the wealthy is not just as much of a "gift" as anything Romney mentioned. And other content issues.

Do you really believe this stuff? You believe it's just a coincidence that low-income (or no-income) people voted overwhelmingly for the party of big government, and that they really voted for Obama and Dems because of some unspecified non-economic (and selfless) political ideology?
   8351. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4303503)
I know all about classification sprawl.


When in doubt classify it. There is no real downside and it helps the whole CYA. I wish there was a push in the other direction to limit said sprawl, because most of what it accomplishes is CYA and to limit the efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of government.
   8352. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4303506)
Do you really believe this stuff? You believe it's just a coincidence that the lowest-income people voted for the party of big government, and that they actually voted for Obama and Dems because of some unspecified non-economic political ideology?


Did you read what I wrote? I was talking specifically about government action being what government is suppossed to do and is not a gift. Where did I say anything about "some unspecified non-economic political ideology"?
   8353. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4303508)
Governments are generally expected to do things that help out its citizens. That is much of the point of a government.


According to you. According to me, the government's role is to stay the hell out of the way as much as possible, rather than picking winners.

Programs that help its citizens are not actually gifts.


Ah. So the disagreement is over semantics; Romney was right on the substantive point, but you don't like the term "gifts." Fine.

The assumption that said "gifts" are the only reason anyone would vote for Obama.


I specifically did not ask about whether the assumption was correct; I asked whether his point that various groups were promised various goodies was correct.

The implicit belief that tax breaks for the wealthy is not just as much of a "gift" as anything Romney mentioned. And other content issues.


Well, with tax breaks you're not "giving" anything to anyone; you're taking less from them. Not so shockingly, liberals still haven't demonstrated the ability to grasp this distinction.
   8354. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4303509)
Did you read what I wrote? I was talking specifically about government action being what government is suppossed to do and is not a gift.

Yes, that was the part I found the most astonishing.

Before Obama, the most beloved Dem in the past 50 or 60 years was famous for saying, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." JFK would get laughed out of the party if he said such a thing in Obama's America. Modern "progressives" believe both ends of that statement are ludicrous.
   8355. Ron J2 Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4303510)
#8351 I actually had to take a full day workshop on the matter simply because of the location of my office. And had to get a secret clearance just to work as a systems administrator.
   8356. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4303513)
Did you read what I wrote? I was talking specifically about government action being what government is suppossed to do and is not a gift.


Again: according to you. Fortunately, however, there is no natural law that requires governments to hand out grab bags of goodies to all the various special interest groups their party is currying favor to, on the backs of the people who actually paid for the goodies.

Bitter Mouse's Law For What Governments Are Supposed To Do has not yet been codified.
   8357. spycake Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4303514)
My parents vote by mail in their rural Minnesota precinct. Seems to work all right for them. Presumably it's done pretty securely, and it's obviously got a paper trail. Expanded voting with extra security is pretty much unequivocally a good thing, right?
   8358. Poulanc Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4303515)
Ok, which portions of Romney's comments are you liberals disputing, exactly?


From what you quoted, it basically looks like Romney's entire complaint is that Obamacare was a "gift" that was targeted at minorities and college aged kids. I don't really view it that way, but you might.
   8359. Swoboda is freedom Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4303516)
Yes. (To Ellison's district, that is. Not so much the brainwashing, I hope, although I guess I shouldn't know, assuming it is done properly)

Spycake is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.
   8360. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4303518)
Ah. So the disagreement is over semantics; Romney was right on the substantive point, but you don't like the term "gifts." Fine


Well, with tax breaks you're not "giving" anything to anyone; you're taking less from them.


The second quote seems like equally as much quibbling about semantics as the line the first quote was responding to.
   8361. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4303519)

According to you. According to me, the government's role is to stay the hell out of the way as much as possible, rather than picking winners.


Fine, but most Americans disagree. Even Romney disagrees, as his entire platform was based on promises that people would be economically better off if he were President.
   8362. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4303520)
You believe it's just a coincidence that low-income (or no-income) people voted overwhelmingly for the party of big government


Is it a coincidence that super-rich people voted overwhelmingly for the party that promised giant tax cuts for the super-rich?
   8363. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4303521)
According to you. According to me


We are not talking about just you and me, we are talking about the electorate and what Liberals found annoying about what Romney said, since that is what you asked and I answered. If you wanted to discuss the validity of governmental theories we can have that discussion, but that is not what you asked.

So the disagreement is over semantics


Gift versus Purpose of the government. If you want to call that semantics I guess, but Romney was trying to articulate a vision of government that is (from aLiberal point of view) wrong. Hence the scorn.

I specifically did not ask about


You asked what Liberals were disputing. That assumption is one of the things we are disputing.

Well, with tax breaks you're not "giving" anything to anyone; you're taking less from them. Not so shockingly, liberals still haven't demonstrated the ability to grasp this distinction.


The fact that your baseline for the right taxation is $0 is your problem, but much of the rest of the world starts with the baseline of current taxation. Reducing it is giving people something relative to the baseline. I understand very well you disput the validity of taxation and using the current level as a baseline. However, again, you asked what Liberals were disputing. Since most Liberals use current taxes as the baseline to start with I went with that.

Do you want to know what Liberals disagree with, or are you just semi-randomly picking fights?

Yes, that was the part I found the most astonishing.


You find it astonishing that in a Democracy people expect a government that is beneficial to them, and vote in that manner? Really? People are suppossed to be electoral masochists voting against what they think is right for the nation? OK.
   8364. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4303523)


From what you quoted, it basically looks like Romney's entire complaint is that Obamacare was a "gift" that was targeted at minorities and college aged kids. I don't really view it that way, but you might.


Obama was specifically marketed as being targeted to "people who couldn't afford it." I'll leave it to you to decide who those people were, but the target beneficiaries certainly weren't people making $200K a year. This leaves out, e.g., college aged kids.
   8365. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4303524)
Ah. So the disagreement is over semantics; Romney was right on the substantive point, but you don't like the term "gifts." Fine

Well, with tax breaks you're not "giving" anything to anyone; you're taking less from them.


The second quote seems like equally as much quibbling about semantics as the line the first quote was responding to.


It is not quibbling at all. What the hell? Do you not understand the difference between someone saying "I am taking $50K from you instead of $60K" and someone saying "I am giving $20K to you."
   8366. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4303525)
Is it a coincidence that super-rich people voted overwhelmingly for the party that promised giant tax cuts for the super-rich?

No, and Romney never claimed otherwise.

It's funny how people here at BBTF seem to understand that rich people generally vote their wallets, while claiming poor people generally vote for all sorts of reasons except their wallets.
   8367. Poulanc Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4303526)
Obama was specifically marketed as being targeted to "people who couldn't afford it." I'll leave it to you to decide who those people were, but the target beneficiaries certainly weren't people making $200K a year.



I don't consider affordable healthcare a 'gift'.
   8368. spycake Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4303529)
Do you really believe this stuff? You believe it's just a coincidence that low-income (or no-income) people voted overwhelmingly for the party of big government, and that they really voted for Obama and Dems because of some unspecified non-economic (and selfless) political ideology?

Do you really believe this stuff? You believe it's just a coincidence that high-income (or inherited income) people voted overwhelming for the party of small government, and that they really voted for Romney and Repubs because of some unspecified non-economic (and selfless) political ideology?
   8369. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4303530)
I don't consider affordable healthcare a 'gift'.


Not only is it a gift, but there is no argument that it isn't. You're giving something of value to people for nothing. That is called... wait for it... a gift.
   8370. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4303531)
Bitter Mouse's Law For What Governments Are Supposed To Do has not yet been codified.


I just wanted to quote this because I like it. And I think it is actually the Liberal view on what Governments are suppossed to do. And it was kind of codified ...
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
   8371. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4303532)
I was talking specifically about government action being what government is suppossed to do and is not a gift.


Is the police force a "gift?" Is the military a "gift?"
   8372. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4303534)
Not only is it a gift, but there is no argument that it isn't.


Please answer (in short form) my questions at 8371, Ray.
   8373. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4303535)
You find it astonishing that in a Democracy people expect a government that is beneficial to them, and vote in that manner? Really? People are suppossed to be electoral masochists voting against what they think is right for the nation? OK.

It's interesting how quick you are to defer to "democracy." If 51 percent of the electorate votes to confiscate the entire wealth of the remaining 49 percent, would that be fine with you since it was a "democratic" result? If not, how and where do you draw the lines?
   8374. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4303536)
You're giving something of value to people for nothing.


All part of the general welfare the constitution was put in place to promote. Functioning as designed.
   8375. zonk Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4303537)

Governments are generally expected to do things that help out its citizens. That is much of the point of a government. Programs that help its citizens are not actually gifts. The assumption that said "gifts" are the only reason anyone would vote for Obama. The implicit belief that tax breaks for the wealthy is not just as much of a "gift" as anythign Romney mentioned. And other content issues.

There is also the fact that it comes across as sour grapes when generally post election is about coming together and healing wounds (not whining). Plus the stylistic fact that seemingly everyone is to blame but Romney. He ran a terrible campaign and seemingly has no awarness of that fact.

Other than that he is spot on.


Well, I hate to resort to Jon Stewart - because sure, he's not a deep thinker and there's a lot of hyperbole in it - but I thought Jon's rant about some 'job creators' going into whine mode....

Again - I'm not wholesale ditto'ing this rant - but it's true...

I've been with my company for nearly 15 years now... we're a publicly traded, non-union firm... The year I joined was the year AFTER the elimination of the defined benefit pension plan - I joined the first year we went 401(k). For the first few years - there was a dollar per dollar contribution match.... that was replaced by a 50% match... then - profit-sharing (equivalent to X% of salary)... then - profit-sharing equivalent to 1/2 of X% salary... and on and on in other benefit areas - from elimination of any vacation day carry-overs to higher health plan employee contributions to an end to even small things like subsidization of meal costs at the HQ onsite cafeteria.

All the while - when I started, the work week was 40-45 hours... Today - it's certainly closer to 50, and that's being generous...

Hey - I get the libertarian idea that government shouldn't 'give things' to people... fine... but wages have been stagnant for a good while now... the gap between haves and have nots is getting back to gilded age levels.

If the government shouldn't be providing health insurance... and companies don't think they can 'afford' to do so -- and wages are not rising commensurate with the costs of acquiring it on one's own, then what's the answer?
   8376. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4303538)

Not only is it a gift, but there is no argument that it isn't. You're giving something of value to people for nothing. That is called... wait for it... a gift.


Similarly, you're given the ability to right to walk about in public without being arrested. You also have the ability to own land and to keep off people who don't own that land. Those are things of value given to you for nothing.

Of course, you'd call that a 'natural right' and not a 'gift'. You simply define all the benefits of society that work in your favor as 'rights', and those that other people enjoy as 'gifts'. Morally convenient, but one that many of us disagree with.
   8377. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4303539)
It is not quibbling at all. What the hell? Do you not understand the difference between someone saying "I am taking $50K from you instead of $60K" and someone saying "I am giving $20K to you."


Person A normally owes $20,000. We change the rules so now he only owes $10,000.
Person B is sent a $10,000 check.

These two people, in my opinion, are both being given a $10,000 gift. You feel differently, I think because you don't consider taxes to be a legitimate debt. Regardless of why, you don't get to declare other people's disagreements as "quibbling" while yours are shining with divine truth or whatever. You are doing exactly as much quibbling about semantics and definition-dodging as the people you're arguing with.
   8378. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4303540)
Do you really believe this stuff? You believe it's just a coincidence that high-income (or inherited income) people voted overwhelming for the party of small government, and that they really voted for Romney and Repubs because of some unspecified non-economic (and selfless) political ideology?

Already answered in #8366. Nobody disputes that wealthy people generally vote their wallets. The debate here is regarding liberals' continued insistence that poor people don't also generally vote their wallets.
   8379. spike Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4303541)
You're giving something of value to people for nothing

As I understand it, people DO have to pay something - that would make it in reality a subsidy, which the Romneys of the world are totally into.
   8380. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4303542)
All part of the general welfare the constitution was put in place to promote. Functioning as designed.

So the founders intended for Obamacare to exist from the very start, but they and their successors just didn't get around to it in the country's first 200 years?
   8381. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4303544)
It's interesting how quick you are to defer to "democracy."


When talking about the results of a Democratic election and the whiny losers statements about it, yeah I do talk about Democracy. Of course I do anyway. You (I think it was you, it was someone anyway) claimed I was quick to talk about it during the ACA mess. And at other times. Soon I will get accussed of defering to process to much. Guilty of that one also.

Democracy is cool. It is our government. Interesting how eager you are to seemingly discount it.
   8382. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4303545)
The debate here is regarding liberals' continued insistence that poor people don't also generally vote their wallets.


No, the debate is over whether poor people voting their wallets makes them moochers looking for gifts. And of course many Obama voters (and many Romney voters) didn't vote their wallets, for a variety of reasons. It's as if there were a whole series of competing and valid interests at stake in a democratic election!


So the founders intended for Obamacare to exist from the very start, but they and their successors just didn't get around to it in the country's first 200 years?


Well, I'm pretty sure they didn't intend a massive nuclear arsenal, either.
   8383. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4303546)
So the founders intended for Obamacare to exist from the very start, but they and their successors just didn't get around to it in the country's first 200 years?


It's the long con!
   8384. DA Baracus Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4303547)
Because this story isn't weird enough:

Humphries, 47, confirmed the photograph exists and was sent to Kelley and dozens of other friends and acquaintances in the fall of 2010, shortly after Humphries had transferred to the Tampa office from Guantánamo Bay, where he had been an FBI liaison to the CIA at the detention facility there.

Indeed, among his friends and associates, Humphries was known to send dumb-joke emails in which the punch line was provided by opening an attached photo.

A Seattle Times reporter was among those who received an email containing an attachment of the shirtless photo. The subject line read: "Which one is Fred?"

The snapshot shows Humphries — bald, muscular and shirtless — standing between a pair of equally buff and bullet-ridden target dummies on a shooting range.


He does actually look like the dummies.
   8385. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4303548)
I ask again: is the military a gift? Police forces? Fire departments? All of these other services performed by the government. Are they gifts?
   8386. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4303549)
So the founders intended for Obamacare to exist from the very start, but they and their successors just didn't get around to it in the country's first 200 years?


No the founders intended from the very start to have a government that followed Bitter Mouse's Law. Governments are their to be useful to people to promote their general welfare. You know that thing that Ray disagrees with.
   8387. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4303550)
Hey - I get the libertarian idea that government shouldn't 'give things' to people... fine... but wages have been stagnant for a good while now... the gap between haves and have nots is getting back to gilded age levels.

If the government shouldn't be providing health insurance... and companies don't think they can 'afford' to do so -- and wages are not rising commensurate with the costs of acquiring it on one's own, then what's the answer?

And yet you and your party keep clamoring for more and more immigration. It's almost as if you don't understand the relationship between labor supply and wages.
   8388. zonk Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4303551)
So the founders intended for Obamacare to exist from the very start, but they and their successors just didn't get around to it in the country's first 200 years?


The founders weren't stupid, Joe -- if Ben Franklin were here today, he'd probably say something along the lines "we didn't imagine such a thing like chemotherapy ever existing either... our doctors also cut our hair and pulled our teeth, and weren't particularly good at any of the three."
   8389. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4303552)
Democracy is cool. It is our government. Interesting how eager you are to seemingly discount it.

Democracy is not our government. That's your first mistake.
   8390. zonk Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4303553)
And yet you and your party keep clamoring for more and more immigration. It's almost as if you don't understand the relationship between labor supply and wages.


While you, instead, blithely ignore the fact that immigration doesn't matter a wit if a company can offshore the whole of production to some place where labor is cheaper...

One of the forgotten Romney tape gems was his comments about visiting a Foxconn facility in China and remarking, apparently believing it, that the 'fences and guards' were in place to stop the stampede of enterprising chinese who kept trying sneak into the facility to get those wonderful jobs. Even if true - this just goes back to the central problem - 'workers' get off too easy, the lazy SOBs... they ought to be happy they aren't living in dorms!
   8391. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4303554)
If the government shouldn't be providing health insurance... and companies don't think they can 'afford' to do so -- and wages are not rising commensurate with the costs of acquiring it on one's own, then what's the answer?

Suck it up and take another job, and work to further cut the safety net for those moochers below you. That's your real problem right there. Just ask Joe.
   8392. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4303555)
And yet you and your party keep clamoring for more and more immigration. It's almost as if you don't understand the relationship between labor supply and wages.


It is almost as if you did not understand that the strength of this country comes inpart from its diversity. The melting pot is not just a catchy term it is also a source of our wealth.
   8393. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4303557)
The founders weren't stupid, Joe -- if Ben Franklin were here today, he'd probably say something along the lines "we didn't imagine such a thing like chemotherapy ever existing either... our doctors also cut our hair and pulled our teeth, and weren't particularly good at any of the three."

Ah, so we only need Obamacare because medicine has advanced so far here in 2012, but back in 1789, people had no right at all to even the most basic healthcare.
   8394. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4303558)
While you, instead, blithely ignore the fact that immigration doesn't matter a wit if a company can offshore the whole of production to some place where labor is cheaper...

One of the forgotten Romney tape gems was his comments about visiting a Foxconn facility in China and remarking, apparently believing it, that the 'fences and guards' were in place to stop the stampede of enterprising chinese who kept trying sneak into the facility to get those wonderful jobs. Even if true - this just goes back to the central problem - 'workers' get off too easy, the lazy SOBs... they ought to be happy they aren't living in dorms!

Non-responsive.

***
It is almost as if you did not understand that the strength of this country comes inpart from its diversity. The melting pot is not just a catchy term it is also a source of our wealth.

Oh, God. Here we go ...
   8395. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4303559)
It is almost as if you did not understand that the strength of this country comes in part from its diversity.

You're crazy. The real strength of this country depends on the power of angry aging white men to keep their taxes below the Mendoza level.
   8396. zonk Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4303560)
Ah, so we only need Obamacare because medicine has advanced so far here in 2012, but back in 1789, people had no right at all to even the most basic healthcare.


"Basic health care" in the 18th century was nearly non-existent in comparison to what exists today. Setting aside the other factors that make up health and life expectancy -- you got cancer in 1789, you died... you died if you were rich, you died if you were poor, you died period. Same with something like pneumonia... or even whatnot.
   8397. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4303561)
So the founders intended for Obamacare to exist from the very start, but they and their successors just didn't get around to it in the country's first 200 years?


You're such a ####### idiot sometimes, Joe.

The founders intended for each generation to determine what the general welfare consisted of. That's why they were vague about the terms and went with "general welfare." Moron.
   8398. zonk Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4303564)
While you, instead, blithely ignore the fact that immigration doesn't matter a wit if a company can offshore the whole of production to some place where labor is cheaper...

One of the forgotten Romney tape gems was his comments about visiting a Foxconn facility in China and remarking, apparently believing it, that the 'fences and guards' were in place to stop the stampede of enterprising chinese who kept trying sneak into the facility to get those wonderful jobs. Even if true - this just goes back to the central problem - 'workers' get off too easy, the lazy SOBs... they ought to be happy they aren't living in dorms!


Non-responsive.


Stupid questions generally get non-responsive responses...
   8399. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4303565)
Oh, God. Here we go ...

Just keep steering the GOP towards building up their margins among white voters in Kentucky and Oklahoma, Joe. With a little luck you might wind up on the Democratic payroll.
   8400. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 15, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4303566)
ObamaGifts is now a meme.
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