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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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   9401. zonk Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4307460)
Howard Dean is a very interesting figure. As a Presidential candidate, he seemed better at convincing his supporters that they were changing the world than like, actually winning any delegates. But as DNC Chairman, as zonk says, he was very influential and effective. I associate him with the "50-State Strategy," which would seem to make eminent sense to a party that's trying to be truly national, but was considered naïve and profligate by some of the Democratic brain trust early on. Yet without that strategy, would Obama win Virginia twice and North Carolina in 2008?


I think, maybe... there were demographic changes afoot in VA and NC. What I think the 50 state strategy did do was connect people who otherwise might have thought they were irrelevant due to geography, and thus, made it easier for OFA to marshal them in bunches rather than as one-offs.

The funny thing about Dean, the candidate, is that he really wasn't the liberal or progressive that either his supporters or foes tried to paint him as... As VT governor, granted - in a very left-leaning state - he was forever fighting with his left flank. He was an avowed - and proven - deficit hawk. He tended to get very good NRA ratings. He was probably a bit left/ahead of his time on certain social issues (SSM), but beyond that - his liberal mythology was almost wholly driven by two things: 1)his opposition to the Iraq war at a time when no one else in the party (aside from Kucinich) was, and 2) his pugnaciousness...

It was 2) that drew most people to him way back when... a lot of Democrats were tired of this paradigm where policy debates where the Democratic side's argument went like "You raise some good points and I agree with you that X, Y, and Z...." before essentially doing a bit of Oliver Twist "but please sir, I'd like some more...".

What really set his short-lived 2003 surge afire was his rather (inside Democratic circles) fiery Iowa Jefferson-Jackson dinner speech - while all the other candidates were delivering pablum, he gave a barnburner that was essentially "Why in the hell are Democrats so afraid to sound like Democrats?!?!"... that thing just blazed through the nascent liberal netroots like a comet.
   9402. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4307461)
Fair enough, as long as you include in your study all the operations like hip replacements that never get performed at all here in the U.S., due to the lack of health insurance.

Why would I include that in the study? We're talking about wait times for people with insurance.


I realize that's what you're talking about, since to you people without insurance might as well not even exist, and you're perfectly willing to let such people go hobbling around on their damaged hips for the rest of their lives if they can't find a way to pay for it themselves. To you an indigent person's "non-critical" hip replacement is little more than a variant on a Big Screen TV, which you don't want to have to pay for through your taxes.

But carry on. Sorry for trying to inject a bit of reality into the conversation.
   9403. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4307466)
It is a legitimate question whether the people with insurance will see a negative tradeoff after Obamacare. And I don't agree that the focus should be on the needs of the people who WEREN'T paying rather than the people who WERE. The people who weren't paying were getting a floor of services anyway. They were getting more than what they put in.


So how long were they waiting for a hip replacement?
   9404. Ron J2 Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4307467)
Well it's part of the trade off.


Not that it need be. For instance, look at the stats on elective surgery wait time in Taiwan or Switzerland before and after the changes to their health care structures.

Canada's one of the low performers on the socialized medicine front both in terms of cost containment and wait times for non-critical services. Anybody contemplating a change in service type should absolutely not use it as the desired model. It's surely worth noting though that the US is doing worse than Canada.

And for all that, Canadians are generally quite happy with the health care system. And that's typical. As a group, countries with some form of universal health care are a lot more likely to be satisfied with the availability and quality of health care and have significantly higher confidence in their national health care system.
   9405. zonk Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4307473)
Not that it need be. For instance, look at the stats on elective surgery wait time in Taiwan or Switzerland before and after the changes to their health care structures.

Canada's one of the low performers on the socialized medicine front both in terms of cost containment and wait times for non-critical services. Anybody contemplating a change in service type should absolutely not use it as the desired model. It's surely worth noting though that the US is doing worse than Canada.

And for all that, Canadians are generally quite happy with the health care system. And that's typical. As a group, countries with some form of universal health care are a lot more likely to be satisfied with the availability and quality of health care and have significantly higher confidence in their national health care system.


Right...

That's the thing - it's not like the US is breaking new ground here.

Virtually every other nation on the planet has gone through this. We've seen everything from the development of true NHS-style systems to nationalized insurance programs to public/private mixes to highly regulated and government-defined private options.

In every case by virtually every metric - the nations that have instituted such systems are getting better care and lower costs than prior. That's not to say all those systems are perfect - they each have their niches of issues; Switzerland's costs remain relatively high (compared to everyone but the US), Japan's providers have really problems operating in the red, etc - but it really ought to be noted that not one of them are making any serious moves back towards the pre-Obamacare US-style health care system.
   9406. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4307474)
Canada's one of the low performers on the socialized medicine front both in terms of cost containment and wait times for non-critical services. Anybody contemplating a change in service type should absolutely not use it as the desired model. It's surely worth noting though that the US is doing worse than Canada.

Yes -- I don't understand the focus on Canada. Almost every other industrialized nation has some sort of national health care system, and IIRC the US isn't substantially better than any of them in terms of outcomes or $/patient.

EDIT: Coke to zonk.
   9407. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4307475)
I realize that's what you're talking about, since to you people without insurance might as well not even exist, and you're perfectly willing to let such people go hobbling around on their damaged hips for the rest of their lives if they can't find a way to pay for it themselves.


People do not exist in a vaccum. There are families and friends and charities. And being poor is something that (a) was not pre-ordained and could have been changed by the person, and (b) still might be changed by the person. It's not like earning enough money to pay for an insurance plan is as difficult as playing LF for the Red Sox. Scores of people are able to do this.

And people make decisions, Andy. Sometimes those decisions are bad. Sometimes, they have to live with their decisions and should have made better ones. Sometimes, they made good decisions and just ended up as SOL anyway.

Do you have the same level of sympathy for the rich people who make bad investments and end up poor?

   9408. zonk Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4307476)

Yes -- I don't understand the focus on Canada. Almost every other industrialized nation has some sort of national health care system, and IIRC the US isn't substantially better than any of them in terms of outcomes or $/patient.


Hey - the US "leads" the world in terms of $/patient!
   9409. zonk Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4307478)
Do you have the same level of sympathy for the rich people who make bad investments and end up poor?


You'd have to find me one first...

   9410. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4307480)
And for all that, Canadians are generally quite happy with the health care system. And that's typical.


This seems like an overbid, Ron, kind of like saying that "Americans are generally quite happy with President Obama." Rarely do massive groups of people all have the same state of mind about something.

What are the numbers, exactly?
   9411. BDC Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4307481)
I think, maybe... there were demographic changes afoot in VA and NC

Granted, definitely there were demographic changes. Dean merely put the party in a position to exploit them.
   9412. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4307482)
Virtually every other nation on the planet has gone through this.


Yes, and we see how the socialism that the left in this country is moving us towards (which is broader than just health care) has worked out for other countries. 30 years ago someone might have reasonably claimed that the model works. But now, the jury is in. We see what has happened to the economies in these other countries. And so we see what is in store for the US.
   9413. Greg K Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4307483)
What are the numbers, exactly?

From wiki
Canadians strongly support the health system's public rather than for-profit private basis, and a 2009 poll by Nanos Research found 86.2% of Canadians surveyed supported or strongly supported "public solutions to make our public health care stronger."[7][8]

A Strategic Counsel survey found 91% of Canadians prefer their healthcare system instead of a U.S. style system.[9][10] Plus 70% of Canadians rated their system as working either "well" or "very well".[11]

A 2009 Harris/Decima poll found 82% of Canadians preferred their healthcare system to the one in the United States, more than ten times as many as the 8% stating a preference for a US-style health care system for Canada[12] while a Strategic Counsel survey in 2008 found 91% of Canadians preferring their healthcare system to that of the U.S.[9][10]
   9414. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4307484)
Hey - the US "leads" the world in terms of $/patient!

Touche
   9415. zonk Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4307486)
Gallup compares US, Canadian, and UK satisfaction rates...

Here are 2004 numbers showing US satisfaction rates far lagging other nations with nationalized care/insurance systems of some sort...

There are plenty of other studies by any number of organizations -- but the story remains the same... If you look at data (via surveys), the US lags... it's only the anecdotes where the story is different.
   9416. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4307487)
It's not like earning enough money to pay for an insurance plan is as difficult as playing LF for the Red Sox.


If you have a busted hip do you really think you're going to find any insurance plan on the open market that will take you?
   9417. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4307488)
Rarely do massive groups of people all have the same state of mind about something.

What are the numbers, exactly?


Let's put it this way.

Ever since universal health care was implemented in the nation, not one single national (or regional) party has EVER suggested that it be scrapped.

How about 90% of the people in Canada support universal health care?

   9418. zenbitz Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4307489)
Do you have the same level of sympathy for the rich people who make bad investments and end up poor?

Well, either way they should get health care.
   9419. zonk Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4307490)
Hell - Sarah Palin has admitted that she and her family used to 'sneak into Canada' for health care!

Yes, and we see how the socialism that the left in this country is moving us towards (which is broader than just health care) has worked out for other countries. 30 years ago someone might have reasonably claimed that the model works. But now, the jury is in. We see what has happened to the economies in these other countries. And so we see what is in store for the US.


In other words - end times are upon us!

Even Somalia will soon no longer work as a Galtian destination of choice... But cheer up - the Mars rover folks supposedly have earthshaking news coming soon - so maybe you should get busy on that privately constructed, freedom-loving rocket!
   9420. BrianBrianson Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4307491)
If you look at data (via surveys), the US lags... it's only the anecdotes where the story is different.


But isn't data merely the plural of anecdote?
   9421. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4307492)
Yes, and we see how the socialism that the left in this country is moving us towards (which is broader than just health care) has worked out for other countries. 30 years ago someone might have reasonably claimed that the model works. But now, the jury is in. We see what has happened to the economies in these other countries.


Woah there doggie. What exactly are you talking about here, Ray?
   9422. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4307494)
So which hate-America Republican will be undermining our science committees next? Gotta hand it 'em, when it comes to individuals who seek to undermine America's scientific and technological leadership, the Right has a roster both deep and brimming with high-ceiling prospects.
   9423. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4307495)
Woah there doggie. What exactly are you talking about here, Ray?


I assume he's talking about the Euro crisis (Greece/Italy/Spain/Portugal).
   9424. BDC Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4307496)
Sometimes, they have to live with their decisions and should have made better ones. Sometimes, they made good decisions and just ended up as SOL anyway

At heart, this goes back to the EMTALA argument. If I am someday destitute and uninsured (and I've made some hilariously bad financial decisions, so this isn't really that much of a hypothetical) and I get hit by a truck and raced to the emergency room, I will be patched back together; I may be billed for it, but you can't get much more money out of an English teacher than you can get blood out of a stone. And if that's national policy, then the next step is funding it: one can either rely on wishful thinking, or find some concrete way of sharing the burden.

Now if one wants me to simply die, or to somehow heal myself as best I can, that's more in line with "live with your decisions, pal." IIRC in oral arguments in NFIB v. Sebelius, the Solicitor General pointed to the need to fund the mandates of EMTALA, and some justice (probably Scalia) said: well there you go, EMTALA doesn't have to be law; just repeal it. It's a hard doctrine, but it's the most consistent of the anti-national-health-plan arguments. Health care really could be like having a pony, with some people affording it and others not.
   9425. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4307497)
I don't know a single person on the right who believed 2010 was the new normal. If they did, they would have been predicting a Romney win long before Oct. 25, plus a takeover of the Senate.


1: I find it hard to believe that I personally know more righties than you, but I guess maybe it's possible

2: Judging by the post election post mortums going on over at the right I'd say that at least a fairly large chunk of righties all over had in fact convinced themselves that 2010 was the new "normal."

2004: Bush 50-7 to 48.3
Reps:
House 232 to 203 (gain of 3) popular vote 49.2 to 46.6
Senate: 55 to 45 (gain of 4)

2012:
Obama 50.8 to 47.5
Dems:
House: 201 to 234 (gain of 8), popular vote 57.35 million to 57.13 million
Senate: 55 to 45 (gain of 2)

Basically 2012 is mirror ringer of 2004- but for the Republuican gerrymandering advantage

2000 to 2012
vote for president:
Dem: 246,576,969
Rep: 229,376,825

Vote for house:
Dem: 335,974,274
Rep: 328,901,777

   9426. BDC Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4307500)
We see what has happened to the economies in these other countries

Since I've been going to Denmark every summer, yeah, I've really noticed this. People there are eating raw potatoes and living in holes in the ground while they wait five years for the paramedics to answer emergency calls. I can't wait to get back to good ol' safety-net-free Texas :)
   9427. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 21, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4307501)
I assume he's talking about the Euro crisis (Greece/Italy/Spain/Portugal).


So do I. Which seems a bit of a tangential reach, at best. I'm pretty sure socialized healthcare didn't impact Greece's inability to write down debt ratios due to having signed away their sovereign currency to the Eurozone.
   9428. greenback calls it soccer Posted: November 21, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4307502)
Basically 2012 is mirror ringer of 2004- but for the Republuican gerrymandering advantage

And 2012 lacks the threats of the losing side to move to Canada.
   9429. zonk Posted: November 21, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4307503)
Yes, and we see how the socialism that the left in this country is moving us towards (which is broader than just health care) has worked out for other countries. 30 years ago someone might have reasonably claimed that the model works. But now, the jury is in. We see what has happened to the economies in these other countries. And so we see what is in store for the US.


One thing I've always found amusing is the manner in which Greece manages to serve as a warning proxy for the entire damnable socialist world, while Iceland and Ireland -- each of which, to varying degrees, attempted the full Hayek monty -- represent... something to be ignored or not acknowledged.
   9430. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 21, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4307507)
If you have a busted hip do you really think you're going to find any insurance plan on the open market that will take you?


Why are people pretending that insurance is something to be gotten _after_ a medical crisis befalls you?

The whole freaking point for any sane person is that you plan ahead and try to get it ahead of time.

That means that when you are 16 and 17 you are already thinking about your future.
   9431. Ron J2 Posted: November 21, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4307509)
#9417 It's considered political suicide in Canada to even talk about moving back. When he was in limbo (having left the Reform party) Stephen Harper self-identified as a Libertarian. And was working for a think tank that was conservative with a libertarian lean.

He's never so much as voiced interest in changing the system. He has a majority government and really doesn't need to worry about party members following his lead.

Some of the more conservative members have made some noises that could have been interpreted as support for substantial change and were very firmly squelched.
   9432. zonk Posted: November 21, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4307510)

Why are people pretending that insurance is something to be gotten _after_ a medical crisis befalls you?

The whole freaking point for any sane person is that you plan ahead and try to get it ahead of time.


In other words, your opposition to Obamacare doesn't include the prohibitions against rescission? Would that be an accurate statement?
   9433. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4307513)
Yes, and we see how the socialism that the left in this country is moving us towards


The righties have been babbling about this since Roosevelt (Teddy, not FDR)

and yes there were some socialist elements to the New Deal era economic regulations...

but part of the problem is the complete inability of many on the right to comprehend that a social welfare safety net/ workplace regulations/ environmental regulations system IS NOT SOCIALISM

come back to me when there is an actual serious effort at nationalization, collectivization and curbing of private property rights etc.
   9434. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 21, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4307516)
And 2012 lacks the threats of the losing side to move to Canada.


Not exactly. There have been plenty of "Obamacare won, I'm moving to Canada!" outbursts from the nutwings of the right. Yes, that is a fantastically stupid thing to say, but the nutters aren't known for their long, detailed thinking through of answers prior to spouting off. (Hell, Rush Limbaugh promised on air that if Obama won re-election he was moving to Costa Rica to avoid "Obamacare.")
   9435. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: November 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4307518)

There once was a time, just last year, when Defense Secretary Leon Panetta thought the U.S. was thisclose to wiping al-Qaida off the face of the earth, once and for all. That appears to have gone up in the flames of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Now, a more dour Panetta believes that it’s not enough to continue the drone strikes and commando raids in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia; they’ve got to expand “outside declared combat zones” to places like Nigeria, Mali and even Libya.

That was Panetta’s message at Tuesday evening address to the Center for American Security, an influential Washington defense think tank. Panetta, a former director of the CIA, gave a strong defense of counterterrorism drone strikes and commando raids, calling them “the most precise campaign in the history of warfare,” and indicated strongly that they’re only going to intensify in the coming years.

“This campaign against al Qaeda will largely take place outside declared combat zones,” Panetta said in his prepared remarks, “using a small-footprint approach that includes precision operations, partnered activities with foreign Special Operations Forces, and capacity building so that partner countries can be more effective in combating terrorism on their own.” He referenced “expanding our fleet of Predator and Reaper” drones and beefing up Special Operations Forces by another 8,000 commandos in the next five years. Even if combat is ending for most conventional units, those forces — already frequently deployed — aren’t in for any respite.

For the past four years, drone strikes have battered tribal Pakistan and expanded into Yemen and Somalia. Without referring to the classified program specifically, Panetta credited them with killing al-Qaida’s “most effective leaders.” But notably, Panetta isn’t talking anymore about killing another “10 to 20 key leaders” and declaring victory in the war on terror, as he did in 2011. The “cancer” of the terrorist network has “metastasized to other parts of the global body.” Talk of the Arab Spring demolishing al-Qaida’s “narrative” has given way to fears that al-Qaida is taking advantage of the fall of regional dictators “to gain new sanctuary, incite violence, and sow instability.”

So Panetta is back to describing a sprawling global campaign “in areas beyond the reach of effective security and governance.” The likely next targets are the Boko Haram Islamic militants in Nigeria; the extremists who appear in control of much of northern Mali; and, he said, “we are concerned about Libya,” as the September Benghazi attack crystallized that the country the U.S. thought it liberated from Muammar Gadhafi last year may now be a tinderbox for “violent extremists and affiliates of al-Qaida,” to whom Panetta attributed the Benghazi attacks.


Wired.
   9436. GregD Posted: November 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4307521)
We will kill everyone who hates us and then the only people left will be the ones who love us!
   9437. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 21, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4307531)

Why are people pretending that insurance is something to be gotten _after_ a medical crisis befalls you?

The whole freaking point for any sane person is that you plan ahead and try to get it ahead of time.



There are many people with a busted hip and who don't have insurance. There are many reasons that can happen, perhaps they are all insane for example, but regardless, they exist. i don't see how it matters much how they got there.
   9438. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 21, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4307538)
There are many people with a busted hip and who don't have insurance. There are many reasons that can happen, perhaps they are all insane for example, but regardless, they exist. i don't see how it matters much how they got there.


Well, maybe there should be more focus on how they got there, so that the problem can be addressed from that angle as well. The liberal approach of telling people they're victims who have been getting screwed over by the rich who are stealing from them and that this should be fixed by redistributing wealth in the form of welfare/health care hasn't worked out too well, now has it? And yet, more of the same was prescribed.
   9439. zonk Posted: November 21, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4307542)

Why are people pretending that insurance is something to be gotten _after_ a medical crisis befalls you?

The whole freaking point for any sane person is that you plan ahead and try to get it ahead of time.



In other words, your opposition to Obamacare doesn't include the prohibitions against rescission? Would that be an accurate statement?


File not found?

Or do you agree that the practice of rescission should be outlawed?
   9440. greenback calls it soccer Posted: November 21, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4307545)
Well, maybe there should be more focus on how they got there, so that the problem can be addressed from that angle as well.

Mandatory insurance maybe?
   9441. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 21, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4307546)
The liberal approach of telling people they're victims who have been getting screwed over by the rich who are stealing from them and that this should be fixed by redistributing wealth in the form of welfare/health care hasn't worked out too well, now has it?
This is a fair summary of the liberal approach to health care policy. Public health campaigns and the integration of dietary and health science into policy making have been uniformly scorned by people on the left.
   9442. greenback calls it soccer Posted: November 21, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4307547)
There have been plenty of "Obamacare won, I'm moving to Canada!" outbursts from the nutwings of the right.

That I haven't heard. There's an obvious racial interpretation to that kind of remark.
   9443. spike Posted: November 21, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4307551)
   9444. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 21, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4307554)
This is a fair summary of the liberal approach to health care policy. Public health campaigns and the integration of dietary and health science into policy making have been uniformly scorned by people on the left.


Unfortunately, it has been uniformly pushed by the left - and I know this is your point. But _my_ point is that the high focus on these campaigns is silly. This does absolutely nothing to address the real problem, which is that too many people are not in a position to purchase health insurance, which is utterly affordable, as the vast, vast majority of Americans have shown.

People know that eating poorly is bad for your health. Yay. But thanks for spending bushels of cash "educating" people as to the blindingly obvious. You're a real do-gooder, you.

Honestly, the regard liberals have for the intelligence of the people they are trying to "educate" is stunningly low.
   9445. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 21, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4307565)
People know that eating poorly is bad for your health


You'd think so...but no.

   9446. Greg K Posted: November 21, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4307568)
That I haven't heard. There's an obvious racial interpretation to that kind of remark.

Maybe I'm an idiot, but what is the obvious racial interpretation? That they're moving to Canada because there's more white people there?

This US Cesus Data puts the "white" population at 78% which compares roughly with Canada's 78%. Though "white people not Hispanic" is down at 63%.

Canada's a pretty diverse place, and unless you're moving to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan you're likely to move to a more diverse place than you live in America (ie. Vancouver, Toronto, or Montreal).
   9447. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 21, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4307573)
That I haven't heard. There's an obvious racial interpretation to that kind of remark.

Maybe I'm an idiot, but what is the obvious racial interpretation? That they're moving to Canada because there's more white people there?


Probably more of "Canada's leader isn't black".
   9448. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 21, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4307574)
Unfortunately, it has been uniformly pushed by the left - and I know this is your point. But _my_ point is that the high focus on these campaigns is silly.
Actually, no. Your point was that liberals have no health care policy beyond the safety net, which was false.

You have moved on to arguing that the wide expanse of liberal health policy, from the safety net to regulation of industry and commerce to public health and education, is all dumb. Which I realize is your opinion. But you could start by not saying things that are false before moving on to your opinion.
   9449. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 21, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4307576)
Honestly, the regard liberals have for the intelligence of the people they are trying to "educate" is stunningly low.

Yes, especially compared to the lovely folks who design those junk food and SUV ads and aim them at the highest common denominator. But how dare we impute cynical motives to those people who keep the economy humming!

   9450. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 21, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4307579)
Yes, especially compared to those lovely folks who design those junk food and SUV ads to the highest common denominator.


Ads. Lol. The horror.

Not another anti-cigarette campaign needs to happen, Andy. Everyone with 1.5 brain cells gets the message by now: Smoking us bad for your health. "Don't Smoke." Such a difficult concept to grasp, I know. And how many billions of dollars has been spent telling people this decades after anyone could reasonably argue that the message hadn't been heard?
   9451. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 21, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4307580)
Ads. Lol. The horror


We'll add biochemistry and psychological motivational techniques to the list of things you don't understand.
   9452. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 21, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4307581)
Also, the degree to which low-fat, high-carb foods are bad for you is extremely poorly understood.
   9453. Greg K Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4307586)
Probably more of "Canada's leader isn't black".

Ah that makes sense too.

Though, you have to admit, for a white guy Harper is a pretty swingin' cat.
   9454. Greg K Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4307587)
Also, the degree to which low-fat, high-carb foods are bad for you is extremely poorly understood.

So true.
   9455. Shredder Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4307589)
We'll add biochemistry and psychological motivational techniques to the list of things you don't understand.
There's still room on that list?
   9456. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4307593)
I know that this kinda ties into the discussion in a round-about way but I was looking on FaceBook and there was a post that had a picture of some soldiers on it. In the picture was a statement that the soldiers were not complaining about having to work on Thanksgiving so neither should Walmart employees. I didn't know that someone was trying to make the point that protesting about working on a national holiday without getting the option for health insurance was some sort of anti-American thing?
   9457. zonk Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4307594)
Deliciousness from the founder of "Tea Party Nation" in WND....

It's just such an absolutely microcosm - from the entirely serious suggestion to subvert any vestige of the Republic to the screaming CONSTITUTION CONSTITUTION CONSTITUTION! without, you know, actually having bothered to read the constitution.

   9458. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4307600)
In the picture was a statement that the soldiers were not complaining about having to work on Thanksgiving so neither should Walmart employees. I didn't know that someone was trying to make the point that protesting about working on a national holiday without getting the option for health insurance was some sort of anti-American thing?


Seems to go right along with today's America, actually. Whine and complain that somebody who has given you a job actually expects you to work. "Protest." Make life difficult for the employer who has given you a job. Engage in all of this nonsense despite a bad economy where 23 million people are unemployed.

The new entitlement: not working off hours on holidays.
   9459. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4307604)
Whine and complain that somebody who has given you a job actually expects you to work.


I assumed national holidays in the US actually meant people DIDN'T have to work on those days.
I guess people also have to work on Xmas day and July 4th if their company forces them?

Make life difficult for the employer who has given you a job.


If they didn't want to work on the holidays, they should have collectively bargained for that right!
Oh, wait...
   9460. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4307606)
Whine and complain that somebody who has given you a job actually expects you to work.


I think this construction perfectly encapsulates Ray's blindered ideology. You're lucky that your betters have deigned to GIVE YOU a job. Clearly they get nothing out of the deal at all.
   9461. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4307608)
I assumed national holidays in the US actually meant people DIDN'T have to work on those days.


There are no true national holidays in the US, of that type. Employers are not mandated to provide employees vacation on federal holidays.

The primary complaint re: Wal-Mart is that they have decided to open their "Black Friday" sales on Thanksgiving night, requiring employees to come to work when they have previously been off until at least midnight on TG.
   9462. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4307609)
This take down of John Podhertz made me think of Joe.
   9463. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4307611)
There are no true national holidays in the US, of that type. Employers are not mandated to provide employees vacation on federal holidays.

Really?!

You guys are seriously ###### up.
   9464. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4307612)
They are "working" - I use the term loosely, since they don't seem to be all that interested in actually working - for an employer who is in the retail business. The employer is trying reasonably to maximize revenue during the holiday. I'm sure in exchange for the employer shutting its doors during the forbidden hours, the employer would accept an offset in the amount of wages/benefits the workers receive. Are the workers willing to make that deal? Of course not.

   9465. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4307614)
Whine and complain that somebody who has given you a job actually expects you to work.
Ray, think this one through. A job is not a gift. Once you imagine that a job is a gift, you've basically undercut the entire edifice of libertarian ideology as a coherent thing. That's basically moving into post-economic Randianism, where the world functions not because of the interactions of millions of people within the market, but due to the quasi-divine actions of the few elite.

To go over this for you - a job is a contract. You are fully within your rights, as an autonomous individual, to agitate for a better contract and a better deal. That's Freedom!
   9466. Gotham Dave Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4307616)
Ray, you’re a ####### monster.
   9467. zonk Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4307617)
Ray, think this one through. A job is not a gift. Once you imagine that a job is a gift, you've basically undercut the entire edifice of libertarian ideology as a coherent thing. That's basically moving into post-economic Randianism, where the world functions not because of the interactions of millions of people within the market, but due to the quasi-divine actions of the few elite.

To go over this for you - a job is a contract. You are fully within your rights, as an autonomous individual, to agitate for a better contract and a better deal. That's Freedom!


BECAUSE LAZY PEOPLES!
   9468. Gotham Dave Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4307621)
I mean, seriously, do you realize that you’re basically verbatim quoting Ebenezer Scrooge? If you want to write off Dickens as some kind of communist, fine, but at least know what you’re doing as you’re doing it.
   9469. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4307622)
Well, maybe there should be more focus on how they got there, so that the problem can be addressed from that angle as well.


Many of them were born that way, with congenital defects that render them functionally uninsurable on the private market. Who's going to want to sell insurance to two-year-old with a growing neuroblastoma, or a baby with pyloric stenosis?

Honestly, the regard liberals have for the intelligence of the people they are trying to "educate" is stunningly low.


Says the man from the "who knows how old the Earth is?" party.
   9470. zonk Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4307627)
This take down of John Podhertz made me think of Joe.


The Podhoretz's - both of 'em actually - are like the thinking liberals Sarah Palin... just good, old-fashioned, downright fun to have swimming about in a barrel. Bless 'em and their continued contributions to our discourse... and if you disagree with that, just - for a moment - think of all the poor, poor snark that would unwritten if they were to be silent.
   9471. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4307628)
I know it's a bit gauche to announce plonkings these days, but old habits die hard, and no one would ever accuse me of being terribly concerned with coming off gauche regardless, so, for the record, the last two pages has led me to reconsider my reconsideration and re-plonk Joe. I mean, there's just *zero value* in his posts.

Yes, you spouted three days' worth of garbage about the Second Amendment, and then, when you couldn't find a way out, started with your, "Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!" shtick. Just another day on the internet for Sam Hutcheson.

***
And yet we have a baseline. 1960. There was no significant difference in health care expenditure or life expectancy back then. Since then Canada's been spending less per capita on health care with no observable negative outcomes. You don't get to wave that away.

And I pointed out a long list of differences between the two countries, most of which were substantially exacerbated in the years after 1960 — drug use, violence, illegal immigration, etc. You "wave those away" in every discussion of healthcare.

***
The *entire point* of the poll-truther/"unskewed polls" movement was built on the assumption that 2010 drastically changed the proper assumptions about voter enthusiasm, voter ID and voter turnout. The *entire argument* in the run-up to 2012 was that the polls were wrong and Romney was in position to win because "it's wishful thinking to assume 2012 will look more like 2008 than like 2010."

The attempt to backtrack on that now is just Joe being Joe.

Sam Hutcheson, Internet's Biggest Liar.

At no time, ever, did I or anyone else claim that the 2012 electorate would look like the 2010 electorate. The "poll truther" business was in regards to the belief that voter enthusiasm on the left would be less than it was in *2008,* when millions of blacks and young people who had never voted before showed up to vote for Obama.
   9472. zonk Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4307631)
I mean, seriously, do you realize that you’re basically verbatim quoting Ebenezer Scrooge? If you want to write off Dickens as some kind of communist, fine, but at least know what you’re doing as you’re doing it.


#### Dickens... we'd still have debtor's prisons and victorian-era stratification if tweren't for that loathesome meddler!
   9473. hokieneer Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4307632)
To go over this for you - a job is a contract. You are fully within your rights, as an autonomous individual, to agitate for a better contract and a better deal. That's Freedom!


Absolutely.

Ray's other point is valid though,

Engage in all of this nonsense despite a bad economy where 23 million people are unemployed.


I'm sure there would be other people jumping at the chance to work, even if it is on a holiday.
   9474. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4307633)
To go over this for you - a job is a contract. You are fully within your rights, as an autonomous individual, to agitate for a better contract and a better deal. That's Freedom!


Not the way this is structured it isn't, with unions able by force of law to exert leverage over employers -- said employers being a party who is not... free... to respond as it sees fit.

Workers can walk away from the job if they don't like it, and get a new one.
   9475. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4307635)
This is completely off base. Likelihood of flipping is correlated with the size of the majority. A House where Democrats have a 100 seat edge and incumbents win 80% of the time is less likely to flip than a House where Democrats have a 1 seat edge and incumbents win 99.5% of the time.

So it's "completely off base" if you pretend the size of the GOP majority and the incumbent reelection rate were completely different than the ones that existed in 2012. OK.

***
First, in any discussion about statistics where Ron says something and anyone else aside from maybe Szymborski or Nate Silver or Tango says otherwise, go with Ron. If the question is Ron vs Ray, or Ron vs Joe there is no real question at hand.

The problem is, Ron steadfastly refuses to acknowledge the major differences between the U.S. and Canada, and pretends he's making an apples-to-apples comparison.

***
This is just the most classic head-in-the-sand denialism one could ever hope to see. Sometimes I want to feel bad for Joe, because he's so obviously neck-deep in the pit and incapable of ever getting out. But then I realize he's Joe and pop some popcorn to watch as he slowly disappears beneath the murky surface of the mud.

Ha ha. Speaking of feeling bad for people, I feel bad for sad narcissists like Sam Hutcheson who can't ever win an argument on the merits, so they announce they've put people on "ignore" and then proceed to talk about those people all day, every day. It's sort of a weird mix of obsession combined with delusion. Perhaps Obamacare will expand the treatment options for such people.
   9476. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4307636)
Engage in all of this nonsense despite a bad economy where 23 million people are unemployed.

I'm sure there would be other people jumping at the chance to work, even if it is on a holiday.
Perhaps. Perhaps not - these aren't particularly appealing jobs, and they pay a wage below the poverty line. If the workers are making a poor decision in fighting for a better contract, then they're making a poor decision. Under libertarian ideology, this is in absolutely no way a moral issue, to the degree that fighting for a better contract makes you worthy of Ray's scorn and derision.

Unless, of course, Ray is actually more of a Randian post-economic conservative than a libertarian.
   9477. Tripon Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4307637)

Not the way this is structured it isn't, with unions able by force of law to exert leverage over employers -- said employers being a party who is not... free... to respond as it sees fit.

Workers can walk away from the job if they don't like it, and get a new one.


Pretty sure there are no unions are walmart, Target, Best Buy, Sears, or any other of the big box retailers that are a part of this.
   9478. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4307638)
Not the way this is structured it isn't, with unions able by force of law to exert leverage over employers -- said employers being a party who is not... free... to respond as it sees fit.
Wal-mart workers are not unionized.
   9479. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4307639)
Engage in all of this nonsense despite a bad economy where 23 million people are unemployed.


Workers can walk away from the job if they don't like it, and get a new one.


I love how both of these lines come from the same person.
   9480. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4307641)
You guys are seriously ###### up


In many ways, yes. On the other hand, Christmas is a federal holiday, but it's not mandated to all businesses, which is why Chinese restaurants are open to feed the Jews on Baby Jesus's birthday.
   9481. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4307642)
On the other hand, Christmas is a federal holiday, but it's not mandated to all businesses, which is why Chinese restaurants are open to feed the Jews on Baby Jesus's birthday.


We have Tim Hortons coffee shops open on Xmas day up here (plus other places), but no one is forced to work on those days. Employees that do volunteer to work on Xmas day get paid nicely. If the shop wouldn't do enough business to make it worth it (like the one near me), they don't open on Xmas day at all.
   9482. zonk Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4307643)
There are no true national holidays in the US, of that type. Employers are not mandated to provide employees vacation on federal holidays.

Really?!

You guys are seriously ###### up.


Listen here, my ferriner friend...

We here in America value our FREEDOM - we don't want any your dreary, grey, dystopian socialistic communist societies where the only god is ceaseless production and output... wait... what was my point? Oh yeah - we have NEON! and COMMERCIALS! and SHOPPING!
   9483. hokieneer Posted: November 21, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4307647)
Perhaps. Perhaps not - these aren't particularly appealing jobs, and they pay a wage below the poverty line. If the workers are making a poor decision in fighting for a better contract, then they're making a poor decision. Under libertarian ideology, this is in absolutely no way a moral issue, to the degree that fighting for a better contract makes you worthy of Ray's scorn and derision.


Agreed. We can offer our opinions as to whether their decisions are poor or not, but that doesn't change the fact that they will still own their decisions. Ideologically, I believe the workers have every right to organize, fight, and negotiate for a better contract. Practically, if I'm in their situation, I'm not sure I would make that same decision.

While the tone of Ray's post is very "be thankful the all powerful elites have graciously bestowed a job to you"; his underlying point of, "be thankful you have a job, even if it's a shitty one, in this economy", is valid.
   9484. zonk Posted: November 21, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4307648)
Not the way this is structured it isn't, with unions able by force of law to exert leverage over employers -- said employers being a party who is not... free... to respond as it sees fit.

Wal-mart workers are not unionized.


Yeah, but they still can't go out and hire a bunch of Pinkertons to crack some protestor skull... just more of the nanny state and its boundless sissy love for uncracked skulls.
   9485. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 21, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4307649)
Oh yeah - we have NEON! and COMMERCIALS! and SHOPPING!


Some 364 days of the year, if someone were to ask me "why do you hate America," my answer would typically be "because of idiots like you." On Black Friday, my answer is a more generic "just look at this ####."
   9486. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 21, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4307651)
Under libertarian ideology, this is in absolutely no way a moral issue, to the degree that fighting for a better contract makes you worthy of Ray's scorn and derision.


Well, we all know Ray is against it because the people agitating for better working conditions don't wear $1000 suits while dancing up and down Wall Street. Or aren't IP lawyers.
   9487. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 21, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4307654)
To go over this for you - a job is a contract. You are fully within your rights, as an autonomous individual, to agitate for a better contract and a better deal. That's Freedom!

"Agitating" is one thing, walking off the job during peak hours is another.

If "a job is a contract," then walking off the job seems quite clearly to be a breach of that contract.
   9488. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 21, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4307655)
I mean, seriously, do you realize that you’re basically verbatim quoting Ebenezer Scrooge? If you want to write off Dickens as some kind of communist, fine, but at least know what you’re doing as you’re doing it.

Ray's almost the cartoon embodiment of a certain American character type that's never likely to go away. But in his case it's more like Scrooge McDuck than the original Ebenezer.

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

...the tone of Ray's post is very "be thankful the all powerful elites have graciously bestowed a job to you"...

Not too surprising that this sentiment totally reflects the slug who just got his hat handed to him by the electorate 15 days ago.
   9489. spike Posted: November 21, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4307658)
Wal-mart workers are not unionized.

Yes they are - just not in the Land Of The Free
   9490. spike Posted: November 21, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4307659)
But in his case it's more like Scrooge McDuck than the original Ebenezer.

I'm thinking Old Man Potter.
   9491. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 21, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4307660)
Not too surprising that this sentiment totally reflects the slug who just got his hat handed to him by the electorate 15 days ago.

There are 23,000,000 unemployed or underemployed Americans. Only a bunch of economic illiterates could try to argue with a straight face that low-skill wages are somehow being artificially constrained by thousands of "Ebenezer Scrooge" employers.
   9492. zonk Posted: November 21, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4307665)
Not all groups of similarly minded individuals sharing a common goal are equal...

Like-minded individuals with cold, hard capital incorporating to advocate for common purpose = people

Like-minded individuals withOUT cold, hard capital organizing for common purpose = lesser people
   9493. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 21, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4307666)
The thing about Libertarianism is that some key elements of it have to be in effect before you can rationally expect other, less crucial elements to fall in line. It may be strict Libt. philosophy to state that unions can and do exert unnatural coercive force on an employer, but if we were playing within the ground rules of Libt.ism, Wal-Mart would not exist in the first place.

I consider myself more Libt. than anything else, but if you're going to judge a Wal-Mart employee for walking off the job, you're a cruel bastard.
   9494. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 21, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4307667)
Well, we all know Ray is against it because the people agitating for better working conditions don't wear $1000 suits while dancing up and down Wall Street. Or aren't IP lawyers.


Hey, patent trolling is a noble profession.
   9495. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 21, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4307672)
I consider myself more Libt. than anything else, but if you're going to judge a Wal-Mart employee for walking off the job, you're a cruel bastard.

Walking off the job when there are millions of people ready to replace you is stupid. This is just common sense, and not at all a "cruel" observation.
   9496. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 21, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4307674)
artificially constrained by thousands of "Ebenezer Scrooge" employers.


They are being artificially constrained by the fact that American labourers now compete directly with Chinese, Bangladeshi, Malaysian, and other third world labourers. This system could never have arisen without corporate control of government, which is not in any way fundemental to conservatism (Joe) or Libertarianism (Ray).
   9497. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 21, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4307676)
They are being artificially constrained by the fact that American labourers now compete directly with Chinese, Bangladeshi, Malaysian, and other third world labourers. This system could never have arisen without corporate control of government, which is not in any way fundemental to conservatism (Joe) or Libertarianism (Ray).

International trade isn't an "artificial" constraint, nor does international trade conflict in the slightest with libertarian ideology.

If American consumers cared so much about the wages of their low-skilled American neighbors, they wouldn't buy foreign products (or as many foreign products). But that train left the station several decades ago.
   9498. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 21, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4307678)

Walking off the job when there are millions of people ready to replace you is stupid. This is just common sense, and not at all a "cruel" observation.


But...but...the person on your side of the argument just said


Workers can walk away from the job if they don't like it, and get a new one.


I'm so confused!
   9499. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 21, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4307680)
Walking off the job when there are millions of people ready to replace you is stupid. This is just common sense, and not at all a "cruel" observation.


Its risky, sure, in the short term. It is also brave. The fact the the largest employer in the (recently) richest nation in the history of the earth cannot pay its employees a living wage is inexcusable.
   9500. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 21, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4307683)
International trade isn't an "artificial" constraint, nor does international trade conflict in the slightest with libertarian ideology.


In that case, libertarians would never complain about jobs being shipped overseas, or high unemployment numbers as a result of this, right?
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