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  • Re: Elections 2012: You must choose the lesser of two weevils

    Originally posted by Old Pio View Post
    That's true up to a point. POTUS does not make monetary policy, and the Fed can do whatever it wants in that regard, regardless of what assurances a nominee for chairman (or a reappointed chairman) may have made.
    I'm well aware of that, but these chairmen are generally vetted so well that their actions don't come as a big surprise to anyone in the White House.
    "The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." George Orwell, 1984

    "One does not simply walk into Mordor. Its Black Gates are guarded by more than just Orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep, and the Great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and dust, the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume." Boromir

    "Good news! We have a delivery." Professor Farnsworth

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    • Re: Elections 2012: You must choose the lesser of two weevils

      68th anniversary of D-Day (Normany invasion) today.

      Back before television, before internet, people used radios. So what did FDR say when he addressed the nation?

      Almighty God, our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.
      Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.
      They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest until victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and by flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.
      Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, thy heroic servants, into thy kingdom.
      Oh Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled.
      With thy blessing we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances.
      Thy will be done, Almighty God.
      Amen.
      as quoted today in The Wall St. Journal, with intervening editorial commentary removed.

      If you want to see the comments as well, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...inion_newsreel
      "Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things."

      "Beer is a sign that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -- Benjamin Franklin

      "Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy." -- W. B. Yeats

      "People generally are most impatient with those flaws in others about which they are most ashamed of in themselves." - folk wisdom

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      • Re: Elections 2012: You must choose the lesser of two weevils

        Originally posted by St. Clown View Post
        I'm well aware of that, but these chairmen are generally vetted so well that their actions don't come as a big surprise to anyone in the White House.
        I should have simply written "the 8 years of the Bush 43 administration" to avoid confusion. I'm not interested in pinning everything on GWB. It was a GOP problem as much as it was a Bush problem, and that would let the broader GOP off the hook much too easily.

        Re: monetary policy, Greenspan was easy enough to vet. He was originally a Reagan appointee, and served through the entire GHWB and Clinton administrations. In Bush 43's defense, there was no indication in Greenspan's long record of moderation that he supported maintaining negative real interest rates. Against Bush 43's defense, he held Greenspan accountable by . . . re-nominating him in May 2004. In Bush's defense, it was an election year, and it didn't exactly serve his interests to bring the easy money era to a close before he was re-elected. (I'll leave it for someone else to go further than that and break out the tin foil. I'm not interested. What we do know is quite enough).

        Further, the president doesn't set fiscal policy by fiat, and it was during the B43 administration that the GOP really fell on its head. Whether Bush personally supported it, many in his party willingly and openly sacrificed fiscal conservatism on the altar of social conservatism.

        I'll forgive them that. At the time it was clever. Resuscitate old supply side arguments to justify policies that would bring back deficits, knowing that deficits can be politically useful. If the presidency changes party, then simply become deficit hawks, forcing the other side to be the schmuck that has to raise taxes (or at least constrain their own spending).

        I loathe the strategy, not because it's cynical (though it is), but because I'm simply not a social conservative. I'll concede that it was a viable political strategy in 2000. But at the moment, we're not in position to play that game again.
        Last edited by amherstblackbear; 06-06-2012, 11:30 AM.
        1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1995 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2012(!)

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        • Re: Elections 2012: You must choose the lesser of two weevils

          Originally posted by amherstblackbear View Post
          Further, the president doesn't set fiscal policy by fiat, and it was during the B43 administration that the GOP really fell on its head. Whether Bush personally supported it, many in his party willingly and openly sacrificed fiscal conservatism on the altar of social conservatism.

          I'll forgive them that. At the time it was clever. Resuscitate old supply side arguments to justify policies that would bring back deficits, knowing that deficits can be politically useful. If the presidency changes party, then simply become deficit hawks, forcing the other side to be the schmuck that has to raise taxes (or at least constrain their own spending).

          I loathe the strategy, not because it's cynical (though it is), but because I'm simply not a social conservative. I'll concede that it was a viable political strategy in 2000. But at the moment, we're not in position to play that game again.
          This is right with a caveat. The ultimate goal was not social conservatism, that's just a branding strategy. The quid pro quo was wealthy donations to keep the top tax rates low. The myth of Republican fiscal conservatism was exploded when it became apparent the party would rather run deficits than restore even Clinton era tax rates. The remarkable thing about this is in the long run it hurts all Americans, even rich Americans. The GOP knows its electoral chances depend on money from big donors, so it can't face them down. I suppose a lot of those big donors don't really care if the country is destroyed since capital is international. Like locusts they'll just pick up and move to the next nation they can despoil.
          Last edited by Kepler; 06-06-2012, 11:48 AM.
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          • Re: Elections 2012: You must choose the lesser of two weevils

            Originally posted by Kepler View Post
            This is right with a caveat. The ultimate goal was not social conservatism, that's just a branding strategy.
            Bush's early tax cuts were sold as "starving the beast," and "putting Congress in a fiscal straightjacket."

            Back in the 70s, Alan Greenspan himself testified to Congress: "Let us remember that the basic purpose of any tax cut program in today’s environment is to reduce the momentum of expenditure growth by restraining the amount of revenues available and trust that there is a political limit to deficit spending."

            It's fairly clear that there was no such political limit. No real desire to starve the beast. If Congress was in a fiscal straightjacket, it was the most ineffective straightjacket ever devised.

            The only way I can reconcile that is to assume that the intent was to spend now (with a GOP presidency and Congress), and postpone any beast-starving activity until such time that the GOP no longer ran Washington.

            Thus, GOP spending is left unchecked. Democratic spending is constrained. The fact that Bush then spent on things that weren't traditionally conservative (medicare prescription drugs) does cloud things a bit. It was just a weird episode...

            I think Rick Santorum put it best when he explained that he was no longer a deficit hawk because "deficits make it easier to say no." Not 'deficits force you to say no'. Rather, they're a source of political cover when you need it, and can be ignored when you don't.

            Have to run and actually get some work done. Can source the quotes later if anyone actually cares...
            Last edited by amherstblackbear; 06-06-2012, 12:17 PM.
            1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1995 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2012(!)

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            • Re: Elections 2012: You must choose the lesser of two weevils

              Listening to the spin from Wiscooooohnsin. I honestly didn't follow this as closely as I could of and am out of touch with the minutia of it but- How is winning by 7% telling the whole world that everyone believes something? How is a vote in any one state something that allows extapolation to the rest of the country or the world. No one would assume what is voted in in Mass., Oregon, or California spoke for the whole country or the whole world even if it passed by a whopping margin. Stupid stuff like that boggles my mind. What I get out of it is that it was a close thing, the guy didn't get recalled but it wasn't a huge margin of defeat by double digits. Am I missing something?

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              • Re: Elections 2012: You must choose the lesser of two weevils

                Originally posted by leswp1 View Post
                Listening to the spin from Wiscooooohnsin. I honestly didn't follow this as closely as I could of and am out of touch with the minutia of it but- How is winning by 7% telling the whole world that everyone believes something? How is a vote in any one state something that allows extapolation to the rest of the country or the world. No one would assume what is voted in in Mass., Oregon, or California spoke for the whole country or the whole world even if it passed by a whopping margin. Stupid stuff like that boggles my mind. What I get out of it is that it was a close thing, the guy didn't get recalled but it wasn't a huge margin of defeat by double digits. Am I missing something?
                Don't forget, we learned in 2008 that 53% = a landslide and a mandate.
                If you don't change the world today, how can it be any better tomorrow?

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                • Re: Elections 2012: You must choose the lesser of two weevils

                  Originally posted by LynahFan View Post
                  Don't forget, we learned in 2008 that 53% = a landslide and a mandate.
                  Math isn't my strong suit I guess that is my problem

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                  • Re: Elections 2012: You must choose the lesser of two weevils

                    Originally posted by leswp1 View Post
                    Listening to the spin from Wiscooooohnsin. I honestly didn't follow this as closely as I could of and am out of touch with the minutia of it but- How is winning by 7% telling the whole world that everyone believes something? How is a vote in any one state something that allows extapolation to the rest of the country or the world. No one would assume what is voted in in Mass., Oregon, or California spoke for the whole country or the whole world even if it passed by a whopping margin. Stupid stuff like that boggles my mind. What I get out of it is that it was a close thing, the guy didn't get recalled but it wasn't a huge margin of defeat by double digits. Am I missing something?
                    During the buildup to the recall, the unions promised to "punish" Walker for daring to put limits on their bargaining power. They were going to demonstrate their might so that no politician anywhere would ever dare cross them. That was the spin they put on it. That they failed in their stated mission is the "big deal."

                    Unions from across the country sent money to support the Wisconsin unions:

                    According the WisconsinReporter.com, [other] state affiliates also [contributed] major sums to [Wisconsin unions' political spending on this election]:
                    “The Ohio Education Association made a $58,000 in-kind contribution May 30, followed a day later by a $21,000 contribution from the Pennsylvania State Education Association. New York State United Teachers gave $23,000 on June 1, the Massachusetts Education Association gave $17,000 on May 31, and a group of unions based in Washington, DC, poured in $922,000 during the past week.”
                    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion...#ixzz1x1yBLmFJ

                    It was the unions who declared war and made this recall vote into a national referendum. Conservatives across the country then responded by sending in money to support Walker.

                    Given that the Department of Labor statistics indicate that about 25% of the national workforce is public sector union membership, a "showdown" in which the margin is 54% to 45% is a pretty big deal.....if one assumes that 25% of Wisconsin's workforce is union, and that all of them voted in favor of the recall (two "iffy" assumptions, granted....), that means that the rest of the state voted 73% - 27% in favor of Walker. Now, in my estimation, a 3 - 1 vote in his favor from the non-union population is a pretty big deal.
                    "Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things."

                    "Beer is a sign that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -- Benjamin Franklin

                    "Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy." -- W. B. Yeats

                    "People generally are most impatient with those flaws in others about which they are most ashamed of in themselves." - folk wisdom

                    Comment


                    • Re: Elections 2012: You must choose the lesser of two weevils

                      Originally posted by LynahFan View Post
                      Don't forget, we learned in 2008 that 53% = a landslide and a mandate.
                      Some are quick to see that 2008 wasn't a mandate...but 2000, with less than half the country's population, falls right in the blind spot.
                      Go Gophers!

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                      • Re: Elections 2012: You must choose the lesser of two weevils

                        Originally posted by 5mn_Major View Post
                        Saw a bit of the recall last night. Ari Fleisher suggested that Wisconsin is a swing state even though there was an 11% point gap between those who would said they would vote for Obama vs. Romney. His position was because having Walker win by 9% points the 'exit polls were way off' when he was ahead by about 16% pts. I don't know if Fleisher caught that only 1% of votes were in when he made that statement...and last check now, Walker is ahead by just 7% points.
                        Fleisher has a job to do, which is to try to make Romney appear more electable than he actually is. No harm there, I'd expect that out of the guy. What I didn't see anybody mention is the possibility that maybe Walker is more popular than Romney is, and Obama more popular than Barrett (who's now lost 3 times I believe trying to be governor)?
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                        • Re: Elections 2012: You must choose the lesser of two weevils

                          Originally posted by 5mn_Major View Post
                          Some are quick to see that 2008 wasn't a mandate...but 2000, with less than half the country's population, falls right in the blind spot.
                          You'd have a point if you said 2004. I can't imagine even the deranged right thought that 2000 was a mandate.
                          If you don't change the world today, how can it be any better tomorrow?

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                          • Re: Elections 2012: You must choose the lesser of two weevils

                            Originally posted by LynahFan View Post
                            Don't forget, we learned in 2008 that 53% = a landslide and a mandate.
                            Correction: We learned in 2004 that 50.7% is a mandate. Electoral College was 286-252.
                            2008 Obama only had 52.9% of the vote, but the Electoral College was 365-173...that is a landslide.
                            Last edited by Priceless; 06-06-2012, 12:56 PM.

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                            • Re: Elections 2012: You must choose the lesser of two weevils

                              Originally posted by LynahFan View Post
                              Don't forget, we learned in 2000 that 49% = a landslide and a mandate.
                              Fixed your post.
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                              • Re: Elections 2012: You must choose the lesser of two weevils

                                Originally posted by FreshFish View Post
                                During the buildup to the recall, the unions promised to "punish" Walker for daring to put limits on their bargaining power. They were going to demonstrate their might so that no politician anywhere would ever dare cross them. That was the spin they put on it. That they failed in their stated mission is the "big deal."

                                Unions from across the country sent money to support the Wisconsin unions:


                                Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion...#ixzz1x1yBLmFJ

                                It was the unions who declared war and made this recall vote into a national referendum. Conservatives across the country then responded by sending in money to support Walker.

                                Given that the Department of Labor statistics indicate that about 25% of the national workforce is public sector union membership, a "showdown" in which the margin is 54% to 45% is a pretty big deal.....if one assumes that 25% of Wisconsin's workforce is union, and that all of them voted in favor of the recall (two "iffy" assumptions, granted....), that means that the rest of the state voted 73% - 27% in favor of Walker. Now, in my estimation, a 3 - 1 vote in his favor from the non-union population is a pretty big deal.
                                That is all well and good. Lots of outside people spent lots of money. It doesn't change the fact that the people of Wisconsin were the only ones going to the voting booth. The GOP could spend oodles in a blue state and get no where. The Dems could do the same in a red state and get no where. No one would blink an eyelash if someone said this stuff about Alabama no matter how much $ they poured down the shute. zI just don't get the thought process of trying to make Wisconsin the mouthpiece for the nation any more than if they said Mass or Mississippi. Each state has its own foibles that make them lean what ever way they want.

                                As far as the math at the end- it only is impressive if you discount the union people. Whether they are union or not they still vote. Once again, you can't assume that every state will vote the way Wisconsin voted. I expect there are states that this split is more or less as far as union. ALthough the outside sources wanted to make this a nation vote the people that live there probably are not swayed by the guy in ALabama as much as they are swayed by what their personal experience is.

                                I have no idea how the rest of the country is leaning. I really have no horse in the race as far as how WI should have voted. I just can't see my state as being comparable to Wisconsin or many other states.
                                Last edited by leswp1; 06-06-2012, 01:30 PM.

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