National View: Odds and Ends from Presidential Election

2012-Electoral-Map

I hope this is going to be the last column on the Presidential Election.  We will start with a bit of local flavor.  The city of Davis went for President Obama by a whopping 81 to 18 percent margin.

President Obama received 18,397 votes to 4,284 for Mitt Romney.  The county of Yolo went for the President, as well, by a more modest 65 to 31 percent margin.  Without Davis, President Obama still wins the rest of the county, but narrowly, by a 20,000 to just under 15,000 vote margin.

Polling Firm Performances – Low Marks for Gallup and Rasmussen

Throughout the campaign, members of the 18 percent club in Davis would continually argue not only that the polls were skewed, but would use either the Rasmussen or Gallup poll to suggest that Mitt Romney was either in the lead or that the race was closer than some believed.

Nate Silver performed his polling analysis of accuracy and bias.  It turns out that overall, most polls not only were not skewed toward President Obama but, rather, they underestimated his performance.

Of 23 polls that Mr. Silver looked at, only four were biased in favor of President Obama and their margins were quite small – two of them less than .3 percentage points and the other two 1.5 and 2.5 percentage points.

Two of the least active polls were Rasmussen, which favored Mitt Romney by 3.7 points and, amazingly enough, Gallup, which was off by a remarkable 7.2 points.

“Among the more prolific polling firms, the most accurate by this measure was TIPP, which conducted a national tracking poll for Investors’ Business Daily. Relative to other national polls, their results seemed to be Democratic-leaning at the time they were published,” Nate Silver writes. “However, it turned out that most polling firms underestimated Mr. Obama’s performance, so those that had what had seemed to be Democratic-leaning results were often closest to the final outcome.

“Conversely, polls that were Republican-leaning relative to the consensus did especially poorly,” he adds.

On the minus side he writes, “Several polling firms got notably poor results, on the other hand. For the second consecutive election – the same was true in 2010 – Rasmussen Reports polls had a statistical bias toward Republicans, overestimating Mr. Romney’s performance by about four percentage points, on average.”

And Mr. Silver also discussed Gallup’s poor showing for three straight elections.

“It was one of the best-known polling firms, however, that had among the worst results. In late October, Gallup consistently showed Mr. Romney ahead by about six percentage points among likely voters, far different from the average of other surveys. Gallup’s final poll of the election, which had Mr. Romney up by one point, was slightly better, but still identified the wrong winner in the election. Gallup has now had three poor elections in a row. In 2008, their polls overestimated Mr. Obama’s performance, while in 2010, they overestimated how well Republicans would do in the race for the United States House,” he writes.

Last Vestiges of Republicanism?

Maureen Dowd writes the provocative column this morning, “Romney is President.”  There have been a slew of columns talking about Republicans’ state of denial, but she makes a few interesting points that our local members of the 18 percent club should agonize over.

She writes, “Team Romney has every reason to be shellshocked. Its candidate, after all, resoundingly won the election of the country he was wooing. Mitt Romney is the president of white male America.”

You want to disagree?  I can see why.  But as Ms. Dowd points out, the Republicans “made little effort not to alienate women.”

She cites Karen Hughes, a former staffer to President W. Bush, who said, “If another Republican man says anything about rape other than it is a horrific, violent crime, I want to personally cut out his tongue.”

“But the truth is, Romney was an unpalatable candidate. And shocking as it may seem, his strategists weren’t blowing smoke when they said they were going to win; they were just clueless,” she continues.  “Until now, Republicans and Fox News have excelled at conjuring alternate realities. But this time, they made the mistake of believing their fake world actually existed.”

As Fox’s Megyn Kelly said to Karl Rove on election night, when he argued against calling Ohio for Obama: “Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better?”

That was perhaps the underrated line of the night.

But perhaps the comments by Bill O’Reilly were most telling.

“It’s a changing country,” Bill O’Reilly said during Fox News’ coverage of the election on Tuesday. “The demographics are changing. It’s not a traditional America anymore. And there are 50 percent of the voting public who want stuff. They want things. And who is going to give them things? President Obama. He knows it. And he ran on it.”

“Whereby 20 years ago President Obama would have been roundly defeated by an establishment candidate like Mitt Romney, the white establishment is now the minority,” Bill O’Reilly added. “And the voters, many of them, feel that this economic system is stacked against them, and they want stuff.”

“Romney and Tea Party loonies dismissed half the country as chattel and moochers who did not belong in their ‘traditional’ America,” Maureen Dowd countered. “But the more they insulted the president with birther cracks, the more they tried to force chastity belts on women, and the more they made Hispanics, blacks and gays feel like the help, the more these groups burned to prove that, knitted together, they could give the dead-enders of white male domination the boot.”

“The election about the economy also sounded the death knell for the Republican culture wars,” Ms. Dowd continued.  “Romney was still running in an illusory country where husbands told wives how to vote, and the wives who worked had better get home in time to cook dinner. But in the real country, many wives were urging husbands not to vote for a Brylcreemed boss out of a ’50s boardroom whose party was helping to revive a 50-year-old debate over contraception.”

Maureen Dowd put forward the interesting point that in 2008 Barack Obama won when “Obama lifted up the base with his message of hope and change,” and fashioned himself as the exalted one, much to the chagrin of much of the country.

However, she writes, the scene shifted in 2012 which “was about the disenchanted Democratic base deciding: ‘We are the Ones we’ve been waiting for.’ ”  Ms. Dowd writes, “This time the base lifted up Obama, with the hope he will change. He has not led the Obama army to leverage power, so now the army is leading Obama.”

She adds, “When the first African-American president was elected, his supporters expected dramatic changes. But Obama feared that he was such a huge change for the country to digest, it was better if other things remained status quo.”

“The president’s record-high rate of deporting illegal immigrants infuriated Latinos. Now, on issues from loosening immigration laws to taxing the rich to gay rights to climate change to legalizing pot, the country has leapt ahead, pulling the sometimes listless and ruminating president by the hand, urging him to hurry up,” she said.

While she certainly captures my disillusionment of President Obama, it remains to be seen whether he will follow the lead of the people.

Republicans got something else wrong – they believed somehow that the masses were still enraptured with the President.  I did not vote for the President because I love him.  I tolerated him because I had no other choice.

Are the Republicans in as Much Trouble as the Pundits Say?

Electoral maps change very quickly, but a quick glance at the current map suggests that the Republicans have a tough task to win in the short term.

1992 marks a much more pivotal year, I think, than most are willing to acknowledge.  From 1972 to 1988, Republicans won every year but 1976 and they did it with overwhelming advantages in the electoral college.

Since 1992, not only have the Democrats won four of six elections, but they have reworked the electoral map.

In 1988, Bush won the states of California, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island and Maine – states that Reagan also won twice.  Republicans have not won any of those states since, and only Pennsylvania is really competitive since.

Bill Clinton completely changed the map and made the Democrats competitive over the next six elections.

Since 1992, the Democrats have won 19 states all six times for a total of 242 electoral votes.  That means that the Democrats only have to find 28 electoral votes in the remaining 31 states.

Now that does include Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Minnesota, which are more competitive.  However, Minnesota went +7, Pennsylvania +5.2 and Wisconsin +6.7.  So even in a low ebb race they were not that close.

What is equally remarkable is how much the country has changed since 1996.

In order for the Democrats to retake the White House in 1992, Bill Clinton had to pull together something that remarkably resembled the old coalition. 

Bill Clinton would win in California, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island and Maine – states that had gone for Reagan and Bush – states that Republicans would not only never take again, but would not even be competitive in, for the most part.

The Clinton map would forge together the West Coast, the Industrial Midwest and the Northeast, and add to that seven southern/ border states.

By 2000 however, all of those southern and border states that made up the Clinton margins were gone again.  Not only did Al Gore lose his home state where he and his father had served in the Senate, they lost Arkansas which was Clinton’s home, and the Democrats are no longer competitive in any of the southern states that Clinton won in 1992 and 1996, except for Florida which Clinton won in 1996, replacing Georgia.

For Obama to win in 2008 with 365 electoral votes – similar to the 370 that Clinton won in 1992 and 379 that he won in 1996 – they had to remake the map.

To regain the advantage, Democrats now rely on 19 states in which they have won every year since 1992.  In order to win, they need some combination of New Hampshire (5 times), Iowa (five times), Ohio (four times), Colorado (3 times), New Mexico (five times), Nevada (four times), Florida (three times), Virginia (last two elections), North Carolina and Indiana (in 2008 only).

To regain the White House in 2008, the Democrats added to the Kerry states with: Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.  Obama would then hold all of those states but Indiana and North Carolina.

The biggest winner in this election is Bill Clinton.  Not only did he remake the Democratic Party in 1992, but he probably saved Barack Obama.

In 2016, if Hillary Clinton wants it, the Democratic nomination is hers.  Think about this, Hillary Clinton in 2000 would run and win the New York Senate seat.  She would then face Barack Obama and lose.

She could have slunk off into the sunset.  Instead, she agreed to give up that Senate seat and become Secretary of State.  In the four years there, she has largely been an asset and never a problem.

She now has a pretty good public service record, her husband has united the party behind them, and if she runs, my guess is she will get limited opposition for the nomination and would be, in this electoral math, the odds-on favorite to win in 2016.

I don’t think that the Republicans are as dead as some are suggesting – the country is too divided, the margins too close.  But there are demographic problems that are not going to be solved just through immigration reform.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

117 thoughts on “National View: Odds and Ends from Presidential Election”

  1. Siegel

    Jeff: When you can’t debunk Dowd, attack her. Actually by doing so, you prove her point.

    I derive great amusement from the level of denial you guys were in prior to the election. You thought you were going to win until the bloody end and now you can’t handle the truth.

  2. wdf1

    And Mary Matalin commenting on the election ([url]http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/11/james_carville_and_mary_matali_2.html[/url]): [quote]“We had — I just don’t have another word for this — W-T-F candidates,” she said, pointing in particular to Todd Akin, the Missouri Republican who stumbled badly during the campaign with his comments about “legitimate rape.”[/quote]

  3. medwoman

    Jeff

    [quote]Dowd is a frustrated husband-less feminist[/quote]

    Thus graphically illustrating the attitude that the GOP so aptly embraced with regard to women throughout their campaign. A woman without a husband must somehow be frustrated and is clearly lessened by her manless state.
    Ms. Dowd is quite likely to also be without a tortoise, a cockatoo or a boa constrictor. None of these “lacks” would make her any less suitable as a “reference for this topic”.

    Many of us single women are doing just fine, thank you.

  4. David M. Greenwald

    Jeff: You do realize you actually confirmed Dowd’s point right? I think your point embodies part of why your party lost this year.

    It took the Democrats about 20 years to figure out what they were doing wrong, it might take Republicans the same amount of time.

  5. Don Shor

    O’Reilly: [i]”the white establishment is now the minority.”[/i]
    72% of the voters were white. Apparently Bill O’Reilly is fact-challenged, too.

    Is a single man ‘frustrated’ and ‘wife-less’?

  6. Frankly

    Medwoman, no, Dowd is bitter. She has admitted it before. She about lost her mind when Sarah Palin came on the scene. The name “Caribu Barbie” was Dowd’s invention. She is very funny but with more snark than any of the NYT columnists.

    My point was that she is not a source I would quote for this topic. She dislikes men and the type of woman men are generally attracted to.

    Also, the left is full of themselves after this election. And the anti white male template is growing in disgusting proportion to their level of bloviating.

    There are idiots on both sides, and the GOP certainly has work to do; but a big percent of the problem is a form of reverse racism.

    Dems lost the South as they moved more left. No they are gaining back power with race, class and gender wars.

  7. David M. Greenwald

    Your point is that you couldn’t attack her points so you attacked her. There’s a name for that.

    “Also, the left is full of themselves after this election.”

    I’m not full of myself but after listening to you and Rusty (and the rest of the right) tell me that Obama is going to lose badly for the last year, I think maybe you should be a bit more something…

    “And the anti white male template is growing in disgusting proportion to their level of bloviating. “

    The only demographic that went majority republican – no?

    “There are idiots on both sides, and the GOP certainly has work to do; but a big percent of the problem is a form of reverse racism. “

    I agree with the first part but not the reverse racism part. I think people are tired of listening to talk about traditional America as though they are not part of it, people are tired of dismissive talk about rape, people are tired about the problems being blamed on the other, the notion that Obama is somehow not American to me is veiled racism.

    THe Dems lost the south when they stopped accepting the status quo separate but equal fantasy and supported integration. Richard Nixon recognized the opportunity and took it. The result was that the Republicans controlled the Presidency for most of the next two-two and a half decades. But that strategy is coming home to roost as Republicans have not adapted to changing demographics.

  8. David M. Greenwald

    You guys want Akin to be the obnoxious outlier but you have a problem because who co-wrote the legislation with Akin to remove the rape exception to abortions?

  9. medwoman

    Jeff

    [quote]Medwoman, no, Dowd is bitter[/quote]

    This was not my objection. I feel that you have a tendency to say exactly what you mean. What you said is that
    she is a “frustrated, husband-less feminist”. My sense from your tone was that you do not see these as desirable characteristics. And then you double down by stating :

    [quote]She dislikes men and the type of woman men are generally attracted to. [/quote]

    And just exactly what type of woman would that be Jeff ? I personally was unaware that there is a specific type of woman that men are generally attracted to. Perhaps you could inform me of what type that might be in case I ever decide to leave my current committed relationship with a male partner who does not seem to be intimidated by the fact that I am independent and successful in my own right and was not intimidated nor bitter about my previously, by choice, husbandless state.

  10. Don Shor

    ” I think people are tired of listening to talk about traditional America as though they are not part of it,”

    This is a big part of the problem, and it goes back to 1992. The ’92 Republican convention was a debacle. Watching it, I was surprised to learn from Pat Buchanan that there was a “culture war” in America and that I was apparently on the other side of it. Always interesting to learn that someone thinks you are the enemy. Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell sat in the front rows, clapping along with Rush Limbaugh. The message then from the cultural right who took over the party was one of intolerance. The moderates of their party began drifting away.
    Two years later Pete Wilson was re-elected governor of California by running a viciously anti-immigrant campaign, which poisoned the well in our state for Latino voters against the Republican Party for at least a generation. And again, that has just gotten worse since then.
    If national Republicans continue on their current path, they can just look at what has happened to their party in this state to see where it gets them.

  11. wdf1

    JB: [i]Akin won the primary because Democrats spent madly to ensure he did win the primary. Money again people.[/i]

    Is that what also happened with Mourdock (v. Lugar)? and the other handful of Republican candidates that made similar kinds of comments during the campaign?

    JB (from your recently posted article): [i]Yes, money irony abounds.

    The lesson we learned is that it will take even MORE money to win the election next time.

    See you in 2016 with lots more money![/i]

    So, then, it sounds like you conclude that the Republicans just need to put more lipstick on their pig and it will be more attractive.

  12. K.Smith

    [quote]And just exactly what type of woman would that be Jeff ? I personally was unaware that there is a specific type of woman that men are generally attracted to.[/quote]

    Apparently this narrow definition of female “beauty” = looking like Sarah Palin.

  13. Frankly

    In today’s WSJ, Peggy Noonan (someone I trust much more to be non-emotive and non-hating in her analysis than Mareen Dowd) sized up the issue succintly.

    [quote]“The woman problem”, or “the Hispanic problem” – they presumably don’t like the GOP. But maybe they think the GOP does not like them.[/quote]

    I think it is both to differing degrees. I think the former is more the GOP’s fault and problem to solve. I think the latter is more the left and left media’s fault and is also the GOP’s problem to solve.

  14. Don Shor

    [i]”Akin won the primary because Democrats spent madly to ensure he did win the primary. Money again people.”
    [/i]
    And then he outspent McCaskill by a substantial margin and lost anyway.
    As with so many of your other theories ([i]Republicans aren’t against abortion! Honest! That’s just a libDem lie![/i]) — you are wrong again, Jeff.
    Until you realize why you lost, you will keep losing.

    [img]http://davismerchants.org/vanguard/senateracemissouri.jpg[/img]

  15. Frankly

    K. Smith – I should have better qualified my remark. Take a look at Rachel Maddow for example. In college she was a pretty blond woman and made her self up to look feminine and attractive. Her persona now is more “butch” with short black hair, glasses meant to understate her femininity and beauty. I know some men would still be attracted to her, but unless human nature of maleness is being altered (possibly) she purposely is not making herself up to appeal to what men generally are attracted to in a woman.

    Feminists like Maddow and Dowd seem to have a problem with classically beautiful women… or women that make themselves up in a way that appeals to most men. For them, these women just HAVE TO BE stupid. Dowd seems outright resentful of them. Listen to her talk about all her brothers and their wives and girlfriends. It is a hoot! It is also clear she is carrying a lot of baggage related to it.

    Say what you will about Sarah Palin and the smart attractive women on Fox News; but I am sure if you polled a cross section of average men asking them to vote on the women they found most attractive and appealing as a potential mate, they would win out over their left-leaning counterparts. Certainly not all men, but most men.

    It is what it is. Sexual attractiveness is not something that most people can control. Dowd seems pissed off much of the time that she cannot control men in this reguard. I’m guessing here… that Mitt Romney actually appealed to her at this basic level and this pissed her off because Mitt would more likely be attracted to Ann Romney and/or Sarah Palin. So those two women would also be in her cross-hairs.

    I have read enough Dowd stuff that I don’t trust her to keep her personal gender frustrations out of the political anayses.

  16. Don Shor

    Wow. Jeff, this is all so off the wall, I hardly even know what to say any more. I’ll just leave it at this: you have a stunning series of biases that you should work harder to overcome.

  17. K.Smith

    Jeff, you do realize that Rachel Maddow is gay and could give a tinker’s crap about how men judge her beauty? And, besides, I know lots of women of both orientations who don’t adorn themselves in any particular way to cater to men. I really don’t see your point.

  18. Frankly

    I did not know that Maddow was gay. That explains more.

    The “bias” if you want to call basic human sexuality that, is mostly on the side of Dowd’s thinking. Read up on her if you doubt it.

  19. Frankly

    [i]Wow. Jeff, this is all so off the wall, I hardly even know what to say any more. I’ll just leave it at this: you have a stunning series of biases that you should work harder to overcome.[/i]

    Wow Don… why am I not surprised in your response?

    Why don’t you try and explain what is so “stunning” and what is this bias that I should work hard to overcome.

    I should not have used Maddow in making my point. I really did not know she was gay. Part of the problem with that… you risk offending someone’s sensitivities if you don’t know the sexual orientation of the person you are talking about. But then we are all equal and there is no reason to treat people differently… right.

    I laugh at my left leaning friends sometimes trying so hard to ignore and deny that basic human sexuality exists and is prevalent in almost everything. Even Obama’s campaign tried to capitalize on this with he young vote: [url]http://www.therightscoop.com/disqusting-new-obama-ad-asks-who-would-you-rather-do-it-with-obama-or-romney/[/url]

  20. Frankly

    [i]All I can say is: wow. I’m not exactly sure what to even say.[/i]

    Weak David, very weak. If you don’t have anything worthwhile to say, then why say “wow”?

    To me it sounds like you and Don put yourselves on some type of undefined sensitive male pedestal. Why don’t your try to explain what you believe in opposition to what I wrote instead of “wow”.

    As you should know, I don’t buy into PC correctness. Hyper sensitivity is as destructive in fomenting constructive dialog as is insensitivity… especially if it is left undefined.

    Let me know what causes your “wow”.

    My original point was why I did not trust Dowd as a reference for what is wrong with the GOP… especially when the left template is that it a problem with it being too full of white males… the very class of people that Dowd is fond of attacking for some reason.

  21. medwoman

    Jeff

    [quote]But then we are all equal and there is no reason to treat people differently… right. [/quote]

    Unless of course it is you stating that we should hold women more accountable for reproductive responsibility than we hold men, who of course, in your book are just following their biologic imperative and therefore should be given free reign to follow their impulses while women are supposed to be the guardians of morality.

    A couple of points about this:
    1. Women for the most part no longer believe that we are inferior to men. We are well aware that there tend to be different strengths and weaknesses. For example, I do not have the upper body strength of many of my male colleagues and therefore may compensate by positioning myself differently at the operating table. But gone are the days when it is believed that women are not intellectually or emotionally as capable as men.
    2. Many of us would like to be judged exclusively by our capabilities as opposed to how ” sexually appealing” we are. Think of this slightly differently. Would you really like it if your success in business were defined not only by your knowledge and capabilities, but also by the size of a certain portion of your anatomy ? Especially if your were not particularly well endowed ? Well, this is what women face on a regular basis !
    3. Yes, you are right. Some women have learned to exploit their looks more successfully than others. But please don’t be deceived. They do not respect men more or think more highly of the men they are able to successfully manipulate in this manner. Sure, they may speak coyly, and bat their eyes and learn to apply make up and style their hair and flatter their male colleagues. This may make you feel good, but trust me, it in no way speaks to greater ability, knowledge, integrity or overall likelihood of success in their chosen field.

    What you are doing over and over again, and compounding by having to ask what you might want to try to overcome, is confirming your basic concept of women as inferior to men, needing a man in order to complete us, and therefore needing to spend effort, not only on learning our profession, becoming the very best that we can be, but also need to do it while turning ourselves into some artificial physical ideal that has been dreamed up by men as what a “desirable” woman should be. Since this is what women are sensing is the GOP belief about women in general, it is hardly surprising that unmarried women voted in large numbers for Obama. Would you honestly vote for someone who felt that you were inferior based on your gender ? No, then why would you think that women would feel differently ? This is one very small part of what I believe that Don is suggesting that you might want to rethink. Please correct me if I am wrong, Don.

  22. David M. Greenwald

    I said “wow” because I don’t have any response to your comments. You made some snap judgment of Rachel Maddow based on her appearance fully ignorant of her sexual orientation, but unabated you continue to forward. I find your view of women abhorrent. And based on that, am not surprised that the GOP has a problem attracting female voters. I do think you make a common mistake of mistaking PC for ignorance and perhaps even bigotry.

  23. rdcanning

    JB: I’m a bit in the same state as David. And here is why I say “Wow.” To base a criticism of a columnist on the amazingly out-of-date and clearly anti-female attitudes seems a bit much. Would you base a critique of a male columnist, say David Brooks or Paul Krugman based on their marital status or assumed attitudes toward women or men? Do you think she is frustrated because she is husband-less? (“Sounds like all she needs is good…, eh?”)

    Why should her marital status make a difference? She clearly has the reputation as a liberal columnist who loves to tweak the conservatives – but her marital status? Come on Jeff, if I started a comment to you on the blog calling you a frustrated sexist breeder, some on your side of the ideological fence might be a little irritated.

    And anyway, she’s a columnist – who says she has to be “objective.” Do you think Noonan, Krauthammer, Will, Brooks, or any other of the more conservative columnists are “objective?” Her point seems to be to be provocative. And I didn’t know you had to be married to be objective.

  24. Frankly

    My views of women? David, you do not have a clue what my views of woman are. Neither does Don. But, you two form a great “wow” team.

    The only bigotry I have is for ignorance and hyper-sensitivity as a replacement for rational thought.

    I also detest this template of under-represented groupism that seems to perpetually cloud your thoughts… and detest this new found left and media template of white male bashing. You and Don may feel superior in your affiliation David, but you are the minority.

    I was talking to a friend questioning how did it become politically uncorrect for a man to be a man, while a woman is encouraged to be anything she wants to be? He pointed to the education system and the left media. Even the new James Bond movie is evidence of this shift… hints of bisexuality… and gone are the male traits that would make the old Bond politically-incorrect in our new hyper-sensitive social rules.

    Here is a link to the before and after for Ms. Maddow. [url]http://www.people.com/people/tablet/article/0,,20400796,00.html[/url] So she is gay. I don’t care if she is or isn’t. This complete transformation of look for a news talking head is worthy of comment whether you like it or not.

    But back to Dowd… you do know that she is a professed man hater, right? She even wrote the book “Are Men Necessary”. Maybe you believe you are the exception and so the book does not apply to you… but it applies to most men in my opinion.

    My point was that you select Dowd to quote on Romney and the problems with the GOP being too white male, and think a professed man hater is not a good choice for that type of analysis. She is prone to projecting her gender anger and man hatred on that thesis.

  25. medwoman

    Jeff

    [quote]Say what you will about Sarah Palin and the smart attractive women on Fox News; but I am sure if you polled a cross section of average men asking them to vote on the women they found most attractive and appealing as a potential mate, they would win out over their left-leaning counterparts. Certainly not all men, but most men. [/quote]

    It is the very fact that you would find reasonable a poll of men asking them about which women in the news and politics that they would find sexually appealing that makes this so appalling. What makes you believe that this would be a relevant point in judging the worth of these women at all. It would make sense if you were evaluating women for who would be successful models or successful Hollywood stars ( you will notice I didn’t say actresses).
    But to even bring up the possibility of a poll judging sexual attractiveness of newswomen and politicians demonstrates your lack of sensitivity to women’s desire to be judged on their capabilities, not their physical attributes. Again, would you really not feel it offensive to poll women about male newscasters or politicians on the basis of their sex appeal ? I can just imagine how un objective you might find that to be given your criticism of
    M. Dowd’s lack of objectivity.

  26. Mr.Toad

    I love Maureen Dowd and read her every chance I get. She has a depth of knowledge from her literature degree that provides context that is missing from most commentary today. She is actually independent and quite critical of Obama.

    On the other hand I find Peggy Noonan to be pretentious, partisan and recently wide of the mark in predicting a Roomney win.

    Jeff’s angry white male routine is laughable. He just had his positions repudiated at the poll yet still trumpets the victimization expressed by Rove who recently tried to blame Obama for vote suppression because of reduced turnout across the board, one of the weirdest notions of any election postmortems anywhere. Keep upthe misogyny Jeff i can’t wait for the Republican extinction to spread from California to the rest of the nation.

  27. wdf1

    JB: [i]I did not know that Maddow was gay. That explains more.[/i]

    What does it explain, Jeff? I think a lot of us would like to know, because that comes off as a completely weird comment.

    I find far more meat to Rachel Maddow’s commentaries than I do among most other political commentators today, on either the right or the left. Notable of Maddow is that she is insistent about her points, but clearly avoids the temptation to pass random unsupported judgements or insults. She lays out very thorough arguments. One of the few “civilized” political pundits left on TV these days.

    She is daughter of an Air Force Captain, the first openly gay recipient of a Rhode’s Scholarship, and has a PhD in politics. I say that only to point out that she has a perspective and has paid her dues as a student of politics in ways that add breadth to political discussions in the media today.

    She also has views of the military that might give you something to chew on, and that don’t seem explicitly partisan, as expressed in her recent book, Drift ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drift:_The_Unmooring_of_American_Military_Power[/url]). Even Roger Ailes took the time to offer a positive comment about the book (see link).

  28. Frankly

    [i]”It is the very fact that you would find reasonable a poll of men asking them about which women in the news and politics that they would find sexually appealing that makes this so appalling. What makes you believe that this would be a relevant point in judging the worth of these women at all”[/i]

    I don’t. I see your point and agree. Unfortunately though, you can’t rid society of this. Are you going to make the point that the attractiveness of a politician does not matter? Did you see my link to the Obama ad with the young woman inferring that other young women should see Obama as the type of guy they should sleep with? Science has proven over and over again that attractive people are more trusted. Women discriminate on male height pretty consistently (they reject short men). News anchors are generally attractive people. Rachel Maddow is attractive.

    But, I don’t know why this is getting so off track.

    The point I was trying to make was about Maureen Dowd (and I made the mistake of using Rachael Maddow in my explanation not knowing she was the member of two protected groups, not one) was that she is a woman that has said she does not like men. So, I don’t think she has any credibility for her comments on the GOP… comments that read just like another of her rants against men that she is famous for.

  29. Frankly

    [i]i can’t wait for the Republican extinction to spread from California to the rest of the nation.[/i]

    Sure Toad. The rest of nation like California? Ha! Sure… until you all run out of other people’s money.

    Republicans have said the same about Democrats. Democrats will screw it up and the cycle will reverse.

  30. Frankly

    Some of you folks don’t seem to know much about Dowd. She is deep into gender and sexuality conflict and confusion.

    [url]http://www.feministlawprofessors.com/2007/04/maureen-dowd-predictably-questions-barack-obamas-manhood/[/url]

    It is one of her specialties.

  31. medwoman

    Jeff

    [quote]Unfortunately though, you can’t rid society of this.[/quote]

    I disagree. We have succeeded in ridding society of undesirable patterns of behavior in the past. We rid our society of slavery. We now live in a society governed by laws. Minorities and women have the vote.
    I firmly believe that we create our own society and our own world. Will we be rid of this kind of sexist form of judgement in my lifetime ? No. But I do feel that it is our duty to recognize problematic patterns of behavior and to do our best to eradicate them. There is nothing to say that we have to accept a behavior that we know to be suboptimal just because it is common or because we believe it will be difficult to route out. But we will never rid society of it until we are willing to recognize it in ourselves and remove it from our own way of thinking, individual by individual. This is one place that I would think that you might want to start when evaluating your thought process around the implications of this election as Don was suggesting. Just as we on the left run the risk of erring on the side of hubris following this election, those on the right run the risk of blaming their defeat on some form of cunning or dishonesty on the left. Again, it is my view that the left would not have been able to ladle on the salt, had the right not self inflicted many needless wounds by not be willing to consider that their message may be outdated and irrelevant to many people today and in many cases, just plain factually in error.

  32. biddlin

    “Again, it is my view that the left would not have been able to ladle on the salt, had the right not self inflicted many needless wounds by not be willing to consider that their message may be outdated and irrelevant to many people today and in many cases, just plain factually in error. “
    Don’t forget insulting,hypocritical and morally reprehensible . ;>)/

  33. DT Businessman

    “On the other hand I find Peggy Noonan to be pretentious, partisan and recently wide of the mark in predicting a Roomney win.”

    Toad, you go much too far in your Noonan criticism. Afterall, she was the first of the Republican lemmings to openly declare George W. Bush a failed president, while he was still in office no less! The rest of the Republican lemmings followed GW right off the fiscal cliff and into the foreign adventures.

    Am I the only one who has noticed that there’s an awful lot of material in this thread for satirical comment? I’m a little afraid I’ll have my head ripped off if I touch it, though.

    -Michael Bisch

  34. rusty49

    Jeff, just leave the blog to them. Conservative leaning posters like ERM, Octane, JustSaying and others have already quit posting on here. It’s not worth the aggrevation. Democrats are firmly in control of California so they can’t blame the GOP anymore and Obama can no longer get away with blaming Bush so just sit back and watch it implode, it’s not going to be pretty. Let the liberals have the site and they can talk about “bigoted bankers” and “angry old white people” until their hearts are content and act like they aren’t bigots themselves. I’m sure the number of posts will dwindle down to next to nothing, I’ve already noticed a big decline. It’s not going to help the Vanguard readership that conservatives have left.

  35. wdf1

    DT Businessman: [i] Afterall, she was the first of the Republican lemmings to openly declare George W. Bush a failed president, while he was still in office no less![/i]

    Peggy Noonan doesn’t have any trouble criticizing Republicans, and she does so out of passion. She wants the Republicans to look good. She was also one of the first Republicans to comment that Palin was a poor choice of VP ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrG8w4bb3kg[/url]), and in the middle of the 2008 campaign, no less. I respect anyone capable of self-reflection.

  36. davehart

    Okay, everyone, let up on Jeff Boone. After all, it’s guys like him that helped swing the election in the ‘correct’ (not right) direction. Let’s try to show a little more gratitude and encourage Jeff to continue on in his current path.

  37. DT Businessman

    “She wants the Republicans to look good.” – wdf1

    OK, I can’t resist anyhmore. Well, the Republicans do look good as Jeff rightly pointed out. Palin is hot, the Fox female newscasters look hot. Noonan is hot. But then again, Maddow is pretty hot too, which throws me for a loop because she’s liberal, and now come to find out, gay, and a, uh, PhD (although that’s a little intimidating)? That’s why I’m an independent, maximum flexibility.

    -Michael Bisch aka Middle-aged white guy too confused to be angry

  38. DT Businessman

    Medwoman, you initially had me going with your mumbo jumbo about women wanting to be judged exclusively on their capabilities as opposed to how sexually appealing they are. But then you slipped up by mentioning you had a boyfriend, I’m sorry, “male partner”. Were you in a manless state, you no doubt would be frustrated, snarky, biased, angry, bitter and lacking objectivity, albeit funny, just like Maureen Dowd. However, you’ve now outed yourself as a hottie with a male partner and all the attendant advantages (but with no sense of humor). Nice try!

    -Michael Bisch

  39. Frankly

    Michael: You made the second half of my night! I accept the smacking around with great respect and humility!

    Rusty49 did point out something that I have been questioning as of late. He says that most of the other less left-leaning bloggers have dropped off. That bothers me for a number of reasons.

    My sense of this thing we call diversity and acceptance is that it is corrupted as superficial group-ism; when it should be based soley on ideas and views. The left seems obsessed with the superficial: gender, race, sex, etc. I think most educated conservatives want that crap to go away. They simply want a society where ideas can be freely debated and behavior is the only defining difference between people.

    I try to work hard to make my responses to debate a two-step process: first is my visceral, emotional, reactionary response. I know I screw up sometimes letting this one out… especially in times like this when I am dissapointed in politics. However, the useful response is in the second step… the one that that follows the emotional reaction and is analytical and rational.

    What I hope we all can do is to welcome diverse thought without too much vitriol and personal attack. We benefit from this diversity even as we all irritate the crap out of each other!

  40. Mr.Toad

    I’ve always believed that what you are right about is more important than what you are wrong about but the back testing is just too easy when you have all these partisan pundits such as Noonan predicting a Romney win only to be disabused by 60 million voters. In my mind it makes more sense to listen to what Nate Silver, who, predicted each of the 50 states correctly, concludes about the electorate than to listen to Noonan, Will, Morris, Rove, Hannity, Limbaugh or many other right wing prognosticators.

    As for California, our problems are fixable. I have said for years that the problem was the 2/3 rule. Now thanks to Republican reforms as well as failures including the top two ballot, the redistricting commission and Republican xenophobia from Pete Wilson to Meg Whitman, the 2/3 problem has possibly been solved. It will be interesting to see if the structural deficit can be solved through a restructuring of the California Tax Code while at the same time stimulating the economy back to life. Majority budgeting ended the protracted budget mess, and, although the process has had a Fantasyland aspect to it, at least people with accounts receivable are getting paid on time. Of course there will be winners and losers so some will pay more in taxes but the super majority of Dems won’t be responsible for that because the voters just made that decision. The trick for the Dems will be how to fix the tax code so that the structural deficit doesn’t return when prop 30 sunsets.

  41. David M. Greenwald

    “David, you do not have a clue what my views of woman are.”

    I’m just going on what you wrote here, if you mischaracterized yourself, let me know.

  42. David M. Greenwald

    ” It’s not going to help the Vanguard readership that conservatives have left.”

    Yes in a town where 81 percent of the vote went to Obama? You’re kind of a bitter loser yourself – oh you were fine when you thought Romney was going to win, then you shlunked off. At least Jeff has the guts to show up and take his medicine.

  43. David M. Greenwald

    “Rusty49 did point out something that I have been questioning as of late. He says that most of the other less left-leaning bloggers have dropped off. That bothers me for a number of reasons.”

    ERM left for local reasons, I don’t know that just saying left, and I’m not sure he’s accurately counted as right leaning. There are ebbs and flows, we’ve always encouraged all ilks to post here.

  44. David M. Greenwald

    “The trick for the Dems will be how to fix the tax code so that the structural deficit doesn’t return when prop 30 sunsets.”

    Or before it sunsets.

  45. medwoman

    Jeff

    “when it should be based soley on ideas and views. The left seems obsessed with the superficial: gender, race, sex, etc”

    I could not agree more with the first sentence ! But am quite perplexed by this statement coming from the same poster who just made a very big deal about the relative sex appeal of the right wing vs left wing media and even went so far as to post ” before” and “after” shots of Racel Maddow. It seemed clear to me that you were doing quite a bit of judging based on superficial traits. You say you believe that it is the left that depends on superficial traits ! I would say, at least in this very narrow case of sexism, “Be the change you want to see !”

    Michael

    Big smile ! You underestimate my ability to be consistently snarky regardless of current state of male companionship !

  46. biddlin

    ” I’m sure the number of posts will dwindle down to next to nothing, I’ve already noticed a big decline.” Right, there are only 52 on this topic !
    BTW, can someone get rusty49 “spell check” or is that a tool of the intellectual left ? ;>)/

  47. Superfluous Man

    Jeff,

    [b]Here is a link to the before and after for Ms. Maddow. http://www.people.com/people/t…96,00.html So she is gay. I don’t care if she is or isn’t. This complete transformation of look for a news talking head is worthy of comment whether you like it or not. [/b]

    The link states that the “before” photo was taken when she was in high school. Is it really unfathomable for one to have a different look from his or her high school days some twenty years ago?

    Is it noteworthy because you think she only made this “transformation” just prior to her employment at MSNBC? I don’t get it.

  48. Frankly

    Let’s back up the truck here. I’m not interested in blogging about Maddow’s transformation. Apparently she is much loved by those with left-leaning political orientations and God help the idiot that even mentions her name in anything construed as negative about her.

    Maureen Dowd is the topic. She is the one seemingly obsessed with gender and sexuality. My point was/is that she is a poor choice to quote for analysis about the GOP when that analysis is clearly sexist in content and context.

    I think that point is simple enough.

  49. Superfluous Man

    Jeff,

    [b]Let’s back up the truck here. I’m not interested in blogging about Maddow’s transformation.[/b]

    Okay, seems strange for you to bring it up twice and noting that it’s “worthy” of discussion or mention.

    [b]Apparently she is much loved by those with left-leaning political orientations and God help the idiot that even mentions her name in anything construed as negative about her.[/b]

    Actually, I think it’s weird to use one’s appearance in high school and their present appearance twenty years later to make your point, whatever that is.

    My issue is not with a poster saying something possibly negative or unflattering about Maddow. My issue is with, well, whatever reasoning you were using when you were making your point as it would seem quite flawed.

    In other words, there could be so many other reasons for her, or anyone else, appearance “transforming” re: high school vs present day 10, 15, 20+ years later. Isn’t it pretty common for people to adopt different styles and appearances post high school? Yet, you somehow were convinced that this is evidence in support of some anti-male ideology by certain “liberal pundits.”

    It’s really a bunch of nonsense.

  50. David M. Greenwald

    Jeff: why don’t you back up the truck the rest of the way. Dowd isn’t the point either – her comments were. I’m much more interested in discussing those which is why I cited them in the first place.

  51. Frankly

    SF Man, my original comment about Maddow was based on my wrong assumption that she was hetrosexual. I read something a while ago that commented on the uniqueness of Maddow’s made-up look being purposeful to attract liberal viewers that tended to disparage attractive women in politics and media and the men that are attracted to them. The link to her high school photo was only to provide some evidence of this point. Why does it matter? It really does not now that I understand she is homosexual. Why would any homosexual woman be motivated to make herself up in a way that would increase her sex appeal to men? She may still attract viewers that tend to disparage attractive women and the men attracted to them, but I now think it is just a natural consequence of left-leaning people having a special affinity for people that belong to a protected class/group… and not Maddow or MSNBC pushing an image.

    I detect from some left-leaning posters on this blog a certain irritation that society focuses so much on physical beauty. My position is the following:

    1. I agree that there is often too much focus on physical beauty, but see it as a natual human response that is hard-wired to a large degree. I don’t see that changing. I am in Vegas this weekend… this city amplifies that point by several orders of magnitude.

    2. I reject the hostility levied at any attractive person as much as I reject the same levied at any person lacking traits that humans consider physically attractive.

    3. My personal assessment of what makes a person attractive factors much more than just physical appearance. I assume the same is true for most people.

    4. I dislike it when people don’t put enough effort in making themselves attractive to those they are attracted to (again, more that just physically attractive); but then join the crusade for degrading others that put in the effort and that respond to that effort. Dowd’s “Caribou Barbie” label was/is a good example of this.

  52. biddlin

    Jeff may well be the face of the GOP . Republicans have been at best condescending toward women outside of traditional marriage or “attractive” candidates . At worst they have been derisive and threatening . Mitt Romney went to the NAACP convention and lectured the delegates on the superiority of hard work to food stamps. He didn’t even try to win their support. Rather he used the occasion to boast about how he doesn’t cater to black people.
    Romney told a group of fund-raisers that he was handicapped because he wasn’t born Hispanic instead of a rich white guy.
    Obama made appearances on The Daily Show and Letterman and his ground troops engaged young voters. Instead of talking often about the United States’ ballooning student debt, lack of jobs for young people and social issues 18-to-29 year-olds care about, Republicans hoped they wouldn’t show up. They banked on an “enthusiasm gap” strategy among young voters.
    Now the shocker: Women, African Americans, Hispanics and young voted overwhelmingly for Obama .
    I can’t believe that these folks think insulting so many voters is a good idea . I have come to the conclusion that they just don’t know they’re being insulting .

  53. Frankly

    [i]Jeff: why don’t you back up the truck the rest of the way. Dowd isn’t the point either – her comments were. I’m much more interested in discussing those which is why I cited them in the first place.[/i]

    David, I have already commented on this. There are also plenty of smart people in the media that have weighed in. Dowd is not someone I would quote on this stuff. Similarily, I would not trot out quotes from Ann Colter to make a point about what is wrong with the Democrat Party. That was my point.

    I think people like biddlin are all smug and self-congratulatory believing they belong to some superior more righteous political movement. I remember another time when those in the GOP believed the same. It has been proven over and over that the worst thing a party can do to its brand is to simply be in power. This election favored the Dems for several reasons… one big one was voters allowance of blame to still be placed on Bush and the previous Republican administration. Any knowledgeable voter knows this was/is not going to continue to be the allowable Democrat excuse for their crappy performance in office. It was/is facinating that it has lasted this long… but I thank the liberal media and a great negative Obama campaign with a gazillion dollars for getting that job done. It won’t work in 2016. My guess is that the Democrats will tarnish their own brand… because, just like we see in CA, Democrats are incapable of fiscal responsibility. Republicans got into the game because giving away free stuff bought them votes too. But now there is a great swell of demand that the GOP be the party of fiscal sanity and responsibility. The Dems are frankly screwed having made the types of promises they have made. They think they can increases traxes without impacting the economy.

    Think about it this way, Democrats think that the same money greed that they demonize and disparage and wage class war on is always going to be there for them to milk and loot. The best thing that Republicans can do is to shrug and get their share of the hand-outs. I have talked to many of my GOP friends and that is exactly what they are all doing… stop working so damn hard and seek that low-material lifestyle that liberals are so fond of claiming as the more righteous path. So what then? What’s the next step… Democrats blaming producers and attempting to socialize whole industries. That will not work either, but I see it coming. Rand saw it coming. History provides evidence that this is the path we are on.

  54. Don Shor

    Great! If you work less and spend more leisure time, that will be good news for several industries: DIY, including landscape and home improvement and gardening; travel; hobby and craft. And you should free up capital for entrepreneurs who are motivated by actual business opportunities, rather than making business decisions irrationally based on their ideology.

  55. Frankly

    Don, you know it does not work that way. Tax revenue derives from economic activity from those motivated to pursue profit. When you reduce their motivation to pursue profit, and you have more of them on the government entitlement dole, then please explain how that math works.

    What Democrats are banking on is that people will still be as motivated to pursue profit and wealth. But they have been demonized do much by the left and left media, and threatened , regulated and taxed so much that more and more are dropping out of money making rat race.

  56. Don Shor

    There will still be plenty of business owners and entrepreneurs motivated to pursue profit if a handful of Randian ideologues go and sulk in the corner. You know that. You know full well that raising the tax rate on the wealthy from 36% to 39% would have virtually no impact on economic activity. Nobody is talking about raising corporate taxes. Everyone talked about lowering them. Even if they don’t lower them, the status quo prevails and investment decisions aren’t affected.

    [i]”more and more are dropping out of money making rat race.”
    [/i]You have no evidence of that.

    I think conservatives have spent months and months vastly overstating the impact of likely tax changes.

  57. biddlin

    ” …superior more righteous political movement.”For a guy that doesn’t take politics personally, you’re pretty bitter, Jeff. You and gratefully many others in your pity party refuse to accept that you were beaten by your own vile rhetoric and record of failure ! You were beaten by persistent hard work and a message that resonated with more voters ! I am proud of the small part I had in circulating that message . I am proud of all the people who participated in the election process . I am happy and proud that my team won . You would have been ecstatic had your team won . Your philosophy and message were rejected soundly by the generation from which they sprang and have not mellowed with age . If the lack of humanity in the message causes one to ponder the nature of the authors and messengers, blame our inquisitive minds that prefer learning over doctrine and our human nature that moves us to cherish people over utility ! You have smeared anyone who questioned the righteousness of your views . You have missed no opportunity to slander the President of the United States of America . Far from socializing whole industries, he’s been been key in saving a couple, including yours . Go lick your wounds in Texas or Ohio or The UAE and take the message,please ? The stench has fouled the air for far too long. ;>)/

  58. wdf1

    Right-wing temper tantrums:

    Cops: Ariz. woman runs over husband for not voting ([url]http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57548600/cops-ariz-woman-runs-over-husband-for-not-voting/[/url])

    US election: Unhappy Americans ask to secede from US ([url]http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20301477[/url])

  59. Frankly

    [i]”I think conservatives have spent months and months vastly overstating the impact of likely tax changes.”[/i]

    We will see Don. I think if the President and Congressional Dems actually listen to business owners and high income individuals and work across the aisle with the GOP, they will implement tax reform to simplify the tax code while eliminating and caping deductions and certain credits… while reducing corporate rates and leaving income tax rates and capital gains rates at the current levels.

    It is frankly quite simple arithmetic. When my company makes small business loans, we often have to factor discretionary income from the borrower in order for the business to cash flow and meet credit standards. Increase income tax rates and discretionary income drops and a percentage of small business projects will no longer pencil out.

    It really depends on the income level they hit.

    I think the GOP would accept a tax increase on incomes of $1 million or more for a year while comprehensive tax reform is tackled.

    My guess is that the Dems will not accept tax reform because they like a tax system that lacks transparency… better to hide where the money comes from, and allow them to pick their winners and losers. They also have all those rabid class war disciples they created… they must feed, and raising those top income rates will do just that.

  60. Frankly

    The problem with the CBO and other estimates on the economic impacts from tax increases is that they focus on GDP.

    They won’t impact GDP much, but they will impact jobs and private wage earners.

    For those that don’t get what is happening with the economy… public sector unions are raking it in. Entitlements are exploding. The most successful people are paying a higher and higher percent of the entire tax burden. K-12 education is generally crappy and growing crappier while it grows more expensive. Higher education is getting too expensive for more and more families. The middle class is getting hammered. Our national debt is growing at a trajectory that will consume 90% of our total GDP by 2020.

    The problem is that tax increases will help ensure that the public sector unions keep raking it in, and entitlements keep exploding. Tax increases will not help the middle class because the middle class relies on the private economy which will be hurt by tax increases. But, as more and more middle class slip lower in economic status, they will benefit from that larger entitlement safety net the Democrats keep weaving,

    That is were we are heading with the tax and spend policies and ideas of the Democrats… a shrinking middle class, more people requiring government payments and a shrinking pool of successful producers paying a larger and larger percentage of the total tax bill.

    This will end badly. But that is what you voted for.

  61. Don Shor

    “When my company makes small business loans, we often have to factor discretionary income from the borrower in order for the business to cash flow and meet credit standards. Increase income tax rates and discretionary income drops and a percentage of small business projects will no longer pencil out.”

    Jeff, you know full well that:
    the majority of small businesses start up without borrowing money,
    that most don’t borrow from banks or SBA sources, and
    that the overwhelming majority of small business owners don’t have high enough income to be even remotely concerned about the changes in the upper tax rates.
    Very few small business owners make $250K. Hardly any of them have any reason to be concerned about any tax changes that might be implemented.

    [i]”the middle class relies on the private economy which will be hurt by tax increases.”
    [/i]You continue to overstate the impact of tax policy on most businesses and on most Americans. Conservatives have been obsessed with tax policy and its supposed connection to economic growth for almost three decades now. The dogma has veered further from the reality with each passing year.
    Allowing the tax rates on the higher incomes to revert to pre-Bush levels would have negligible impact on job creation and almost no discernible impact on economic growth.

  62. Don Shor

    [i]”The most successful people are paying a higher and higher percent of the entire tax burden.”
    [/i]
    The ‘most successful’ (the rest of us call them ‘the richest’) people are also making more and more money, and have more left over in spite of paying a ‘higher percent of the entire tax burden’. They’re doing ok.

    From the Wall Street Journal:

    “In the 1980s, the top 5% averaged 22.6% of income and paid 28.5% of taxes.

    In the 1990s, the top 5% averaged 25.3% of income and paid 34.3% of taxes

    In the 2000s, the top 5% averaged 28.4% of the income and paid 40.3% of the taxes.

    That doesn’t mean that the best-off are living on less. The top 1% averaged income of $1,530,773 this year (up $174,083 from 2004, when the data series begins) and paid federal taxes of all sorts of $422,915 (up $20,704 from 2004), according to estimates by the Tax Policy Center, a number-crunching joint venture of the Brookings Institution and Urban Institute.”
    ([url]http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444246904577571042249868040.html[/url])

  63. medwoman

    Jeff

    “I think the GOP would accept a tax increase on incomes of $1 million or more for a year while comprehensive tax reform is tackled.

    My guess is that the Dems will not accept tax reform because they like a tax system that lacks transparency… better to hide where the money comes from, and allow them to pick their winners and losers. They also have all those rabid class war disciples they created… they must feed, and raising those top income rates will do just that.”

    Ok , this is interesting from a couple of points of view..
    In the first sentence, you are implying that most Republicans ( you aren’t clear if you agree or not) would agree to a tax increases on some level of income. Thiis would establish to me the entirely reasonable principle that, in conjunction with some degree of tax reform ( also almost universally agreed upon as needed), increased taxes are a reasonable idea. So now, having established this as a reasonable proposition ( flying in the face of the Norquist pledge) what we are really down to is just discussing where to draw the line. So far we are having a discussion based on practical ideas.

    But then you veer off into the realm of denigration of “the enemy”. You start your sentence with “my guess is” and proceed to call anyone who does not agree with you dishonest. Instead of actually arguing your case on its merits, you starting using basically meaningless cliches, “pick winners and losers” and “rabid class warf disciples” to create a class of villains by imputing motives to them.

    Would you not find it more constructive when having a conversation with me, if I were to address your actual ideas as you present them rather than having me tell you that I believe that you are basing your position on duplicity ? The latter sounds like a real conversation stopper to me.

  64. medwoman

    Jeff

    “”The most successful people are paying a higher and higher percent of the entire tax burden.”

    I think this sentence nicely sums up a major difference in our philosophies. Boiling that sentence down to its underlying premise, what you get is:
    Success = wealth. I reject this notion out of hand. My reasons ?
    1) Being rich does not make you either successful, harder working, a job creator, or more industrious. There are many ways to acquire money that have nothing to do with individual enterprise, effort, or merit. Some examples would include marrying into money, inheriting it, speculation with other peoples money ( remember Wall Street ? )), successfully bilking people out of their money ( Bernie Madoff a case we could all agree on, and the practices of Bain capital on which we probably would not agree) or just plain developing and growing your business by under paying your workers.
    2) What this philosophy creates is a “class system” based on possession of money instead of ethnic background or religion. This, not the reaction to it of those who see and talk about it’s fundamental inequality, is, I believe the basis for what you describe as “class warfare”.
    Describing, talking about, and promoting change in an extremely and increasingly unfair and exploitive system did not create or maintain that system. What does is the belief that having lots of money automatically means that one is virtuous, while not having it means you are of less worth as a person. I fundamentally reject this notion.

  65. Frankly

    [i]”In the first sentence, you are implying that most Republicans ( you aren’t clear if you agree or not) would agree to a tax increases on some level of income.”[/i]

    Medwoman, let’s see if I can explain.

    The primary reason that Republicans in Congress reject certain tax increases is that they would hurt the economy in ways that would hurt middle class people. Most conservative like me have a fundamental problem with the fact that more and more of the tax burden is more born by fewer and fewer people at the top and less born by a greater percentage of people at the bottom.

    The majority of these top income earners worked their way up from lower rungs of the prosperity ladder (the US has a very low percentage of old wealth compared to most other industrialized countries). They are generally people that worked 12-16 hour days and took risks to grow a business or a practice. Some are senior executives at large companies and actors and entertainers that are paid a premium for the skills and talents. So, yes – it is appropriate to call them “successful” as they have achieved goals that they pursued through self-determination. I agree that success is not just measured by the achievement of material wealth. However, it is certainly right to define those that have achieved higher levels of wealth as successful.

    The general opinion of the political right is that the top 5% are doing well enough and can afford to pay a greater tax rate. Republicans support a higher tax rate on the top earners if it is used to lower the deficit and improve the economy (including improving the economic prospects for others). However, increasing income tax 100% on these people will not put much of dent in the deficit. And, it certainly will not help at all if spending is not drastically cut. If the government really needs to suck more earnings from the tax-paying public (i.e, we absolutely need to increase the cost of government per GDP), then it will have to hit the top 20% in order to generate enough revenue. This will hurt small business, jobs and the middle class because the top 20% include families making $100k… a large percentage of our small business owners. Republicans don’t want this to happen, and don’t believe that the cost of government as a percentage of GDP should rise. The GOP thinks we should be spending less per GDP, not more.

    As Don likes to point out like it is some profound statistic, the top control a greater percentage of wealth. We yes, that is true in all industrialized countries. For example, in 2000 the top 10% in Switzerland controlled 71.3%, Demark 65%, France 61%, and Sweden 58.6%. The top 10% in the US controlled 69.8%. The difference though in the US is income mobility. The US has had the greatest income mobility of any of these other countries. People grow wealth and lose wealth in the US at a much greater clip. Before the Great Recession, 45% of the richest quintile would move down in any given two-year span, and 42% of the poorest quintile would move up. The US economy has been much more free and dynamic since the early 20th century when anti-trust laws killed the big industrial monopolies and oligarchs. Class envy has never been a big problem in this country since then because of the level of income mobility. But, the Democrats have changed that with their modern-day media-driven class wars.

  66. Frankly

    I am still agitated about the election for a couple of reasons.

    One – Obama and the Dems waged one of the most expensive negative and personal media attacks against an opponent in the history of US politics. Romney was a much better choice for the country at this time, but his image was destroyed by $100 million in attack ads in the swing states during the primaries. Romney ran out of money in the primaries and he could not fight back… he never recovered. I am agitated about the smugness and self-righteousness of the winners in this case, because they are demonstrating the height of hypocrisy given how loud they would have been screaming if the GOP had won the election using the same tactics. The Teflon Messiah was protected and pampered by comparison. However, the new game has been identified and we will see politics drift even further into the dirt going forward. I mean, if those sensitive and kind folks on the left can use these tactics, then the gloves are off for the mean and nasty Republicans, right?

    [i]Let me give you a taste of how that would look and feel at a local level… Did you know that Davis liberals hate Latinos and blacks and prevent them from moving into the town by keeping property costs artificially high? Davis is lily white compared to all the surrounding communities. It seems that there is an ugly form of racism at play here… one that Davisites hide in a shroud of liberal politics. They are happy to support minority causes… as long as the minorities do not move into their neighborhoods.[/i]

    Burns doesn’t it?

    Second – the young and poor (both inexperienced and ignorant about how their economic prospects would be improved in the long run) elected a President, a party and an ideology that is bad for them. It is like a crack user electing his dealer… he will certainly feel better for a while! More importantly, these young and poor voters rejected what would have been truly good for them.

    The solution for their problems is NOT the “crack” of redistribution. Looking at government controlled wealth transfer from the higher economically successful to the lower economically successful is a recipe for a Greek or Argentinian collapse of this once great country.

    If you really want to see greater income mobility (it has shrunk over the last decade in terms of the distance of movement up and down) and greater opportunity for young people and lower income people to achieve greater prosperity, there are three things you should support doing:

    One – Support a complete transformation of our education system to the best in the world. We need one that much more effectively prepares students to launch into the economy. This means having an education system that partners with business for creating qualified workers. This means choice, efficiency, modernity, technology… all the things that our current system does a crappy job providing.

    Two – Have the government focus more on economic development and helping small business to launch and grow. Include in this changing the policies that favor large companies (e.g., bail outs) and lawyers (e.g., patent law suits), and instead focus on generating the greatest and most dynamic business competition possible.

    Three – Reform entitlements so that they are sustainable, delivered based on true need, and do not become an alternative to joining the private economy for growing individual prosperity.

  67. Don Shor

    [i]”This will hurt small business, jobs and the middle class because the top 20% include families making $100k… a large percentage of our small business owners.”
    [/i]
    Actually, a very small percentage of small business owners make $100K. Less than 20%. Most make far less than $100K.

    [i]”However, increasing income tax 100% on these people will not put much of dent in the deficit. And, it certainly will not help at all if spending is not drastically cut.”[/i]
    Recall that the deficit deal that Obama and Boehner almost reached in summer 2010 had spending cuts at a 4:1 ratio to tax increases. Nobody is proposing raising taxes without spending cuts. Nobody is proposing 100% taxes on anybody. The proposal is to raise taxes on those making $250K or higher from 36% to 39%.

  68. Frankly

    Don, it will impact those business owners that tend to hire the most employees.
    [quote]NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — President Obama’s proposal to let the Bush tax cuts expire for top earners would hit only a tiny fraction of all small businesses, but it includes nearly 1 million companies that employ people.

    That’s according to an IRS study, which counted more than 20 million enterprises as small businesses.

    Most of them are solo entrepreneurs with no employees. Only a tiny portion of them earn more than the $200,000 threshold ($250,000 if married) that would face an increase if the top two rates go up.

    But high-income earners also make up 24% of small businesses with employees, or 923,000 of them, according to a report by Treasury Department economists.

    Related: Obama’s 18 small business tax cuts – explained

    That’s why Obama can say his proposal wouldn’t affect many small businesses — between 3% and 10%, depending on how you define a small business. It’s also why Romney can say that it is aimed at “job creators,” as he did at Wednesday night’s debate.

    Those small businesses also employ an estimated 60 million Americans — about half of all private sector employees.

    “No matter how you slice it and dice it, it’s hard to avoid that this is a tax increase on a significant share of small business owners,” said Raymond Keating, chief economist of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

    The Obama plan would raise the top two tax brackets from 33% to 36% and from 35% to 39.6%.

    To business owners, higher tax bills would restrict their ability to grow and hire workers.[/quote]

  69. Don Shor

    [i]”No matter how you slice it and dice it, it’s hard to avoid that this is a tax increase on a significant share of small business owners,” [/i]

    Factually incorrect, as your article shows.
    It is a modest tax increase on a small number of small business owners, and would have almost no effect on hiring. It would have no effect on the overwhelming majority of small business owners.
    It would have negligible effect (no direct effect, barely any indirect effect) on the middle class.
    Your previous ‘facts’ were incorrect.
    Your analysis is incorrect.
    You are continuing, without foundation, to overstate the impact of a small increase in the tax rate paid by those earning over $250K.
    This is simple: if they could be running their businesses with fewer employees, they’d already be doing that.

  70. Davis Progressive

    [quote]Obama and the Dems waged one of the most expensive negative and personal media attacks against an opponent in the history of US politics. Romney was a much better choice for the country at this time, but his image was destroyed by $100 million in attack ads in the swing states during the primaries. Romney ran out of money in the primaries and he could not fight back… he never recovered.[/quote]

    this is a series of strange comments…

    first, the republicans had an overall money advantage. the superpacs put in huge amounts of money attacking obama, so it seems strange that you would cry about money.

    second, it’s completely subjective who would be the better choice and you act like it’s a foregone conclusion, the majority of the voters apparently disagree.

    third, you argue that romney never recovered – that’s at best questionable he had an entire convention, hundreds of millions both in hard and soft money, and he had the lead after his own convention and a week before the campaign – if he didn’t recover after the first the debate, it’s his own damn fault.

  71. Frankly

    [i]”No matter how you slice it and dice it, it’s hard to avoid that this is a tax increase on a significant share of small business owners,”

    Don: Factually incorrect, as your article shows.[/i]

    The quote is from the article.

    [i]This is simple: if they could be running their businesses with fewer employees, they’d already be doing that. [/i]

    No Don. Over 60% of the job growth comes from small business with 1-5 employees. Most of those small business owners have a choice: do the work themselves, or hire employees to do the work. Most would prefer to hire employees if they can still make enough money to support their desired lifestyle. When you increase their tax rates, they are more likely to do the work themselves instead of hiring or retaining employees.

    I would venture a guess that this is exactly how you would respond to a tax increase that impacted your desired lifestyle. You would have to increase your gross salary to make up for the tax rate increase to keep your net pay the same… regardless if your salary was the profit from your Schedule C business, or a real salary paid to you by a corporate business structure, you would have to reduce expenses to compensate.

    For most small businesses, the biggest expense is employee costs. So, if executive compensation (i.e., owner compensation in a small business) goes up, then employee expense will have to be reduced to find equalibrium.

    Also consider that Fed regulators have hammered banks to the point that operating lines of credit are harder for small businesses to secure. So, increasing business expenses through higher income tax rates (as I just explained) also impacts cash flow. This too puts pressure on business to reduce employee expense.

    So, they hire less. OR, they pay less. Or, they cut benefits.

    Sure there are going to be a few business owners that accept lower compensation without it trackling down to employees. Maybe you are one. However, that response will be rare and the minority.

    In any case, raising income taxes on any percent of business owners is damaging to workers.

  72. Frankly

    GI – We have all the evidence that we need that the Super Pac money scream from the left was all hot air. Obama got a couple hundred million less (somthing like $900 GOP compared to $700 DEM million in Pac Money), but he did not need to fund any primary campaigns. He and the Dems used some of that money effectively in the primaries in the swing states to relentlessly attack Romney personally, and also help the idiot GOP senators to win their primary by relentlessly attacking their more qualified opponent.

    Citizens United was another hot air scream from the left. As it turns out, the unions and the Democrats were the real winners from this. Unions could work without restriction to spend dues money and contact any voters.

    Lefties want to believe that the election was a mandate for the ideas of the left and a rejection of the ideas of the right. Not the case. The ONLY lesson here is that politics has grown much nastier and more expensive, and the GOP will have to be much nastier and spend much more money next time to win.

  73. Don Shor

    [i]Over 60% of the job growth comes from small business with 1-5 employees.
    [/i]
    And in practically none of those cases does the owner make $250,000 a year.

    If I have 250,000 in taxable income, my current tax rate is 36%: $90,000, leaving after-tax income of $160,000.
    If the tax cut is allowed to expire, it goes to 39%: 97,500, leaving after-tax income of $152,500.

    Were I in that income bracket I wouldn’t lay anyone off or fail to hire based on that change in after-tax income. Your statement “[i]that response will be rare and the minority[/i]” is unproven, and probably unprovable.

    [i]So, they hire less. OR, they pay less. Or, they cut benefits.
    [/i]
    More likely they cut expenses across the board where they can, cut their own pay somewhat, find some ways to increase prices, find ways to be a little more profitable on some of the profit centers, start paying COD to get additional discounts, do more pre-ordering to get additional discounts, etc. You make it sound like a zero-sum game. It’s not.
    I really wish conservatives would stop using small businesses in their rhetoric. Remember: this isn’t a new tax rate that’s being proposed. It’s a return to an old one, which was, itself, historically very low.

  74. Davis Progressive

    Boone:

    “We have all the evidence that we need that the Super Pac money scream from the left was all hot air. Obama got a couple hundred million less (somthing like $900 GOP compared to $700 DEM million in Pac Money)”

    that’s a good response to a point i didn’t make. my point was that romney had ample resources to remake his image and it’s not as though obama was the only one spending millions (hundreds of milliams) attacking his opponent

  75. Frankly

    [i]cut their own pay somewhat[/i]

    Most of them are already tapped out paying their own way. Their 401ks have been decimated. Their real estate is upside down. They are paying for their own healthcare cost and their kid’s hyper-inflated college costs. They are already looking at having to work until they drop because there is nothing for them to retire on. There is nothing to cut, Don. Yours is a fantasy response to tax increases.

    [i]find some ways to increase prices,[/i]

    Sorry, but only a competition-protected Davis merchant would write this. For the rest of the world, you raise prices and you decrease revenue… unless you have a captive market… and this day and age, there are very few industries/markets that don’t have lots of competition. Davis is stuck in a low competition retail time warp that has little resemblance to the real world.

    [i]find ways to be a little more profitable on some of the profit centers, start paying COD to get additional discounts, do more pre-ordering to get additional discounts,[/i]

    Again, this is the stuff that is already fully leveraged for most businesses. For most of them there is no fat like this to cut. If there was they would be doing it already. This isn’t like the public sector where there are ample opportunities to grow efficiency. The private sector in free markets is generally already 90%+ efficient or they go out of business.

    And Don, it isn’t just the $7500 in additional tax payments. It is the $7500 on top of all the other taxes. On top of the inflated energy costs. On top of the increased costs for regulatory compliance. On top of the extra Obamacare costs. On top of the stifling banking regulation that limit access to capital. If you live in CA, it is $7500 plus the increase sales tax. If you make more than $250,000, you are also paying more income tax to Old Governor Moonbeam.

    What we are going to see Don is the proverbial straw breaking the camel’s back. It is that net next cost impact that is going to cause the reaction that hits workers because it hits a breakpoint with the business owner. You might not be there in your Davis business, but many are. I talk to them every day. They are about ready to throw in the towel.

  76. Don Shor

    [i]There is nothing to cut, Don. Yours is a fantasy response to tax increases.
    [/i]
    You are telling me that people making more than $250,000 a year “have nothing to cut” and then say [i]mine[/i] is a fantasy response?

    [i]but only a competition-protected Davis merchant would write this[/i]
    Sorry, but only a right-wing ideologue would say this. Just for the record: I’m not competition-protected. Nobody is.

    [i]you raise prices and you decrease revenue[/i]
    You know, sometimes I think you know absolutely nothing about retail. We deal with these adjustments all the time. Most use variable markup and modify it quite regularly, based on our target profit margins. There is not, in fact, a direct correlation between a specific price increase and revenue loss.

    [i]Again, this is the stuff that is already fully leveraged for most businesses. For most of them there is no fat like this to cut.
    [/i]
    There is an entire consulting industry out there dedicated to the proposition that your statement is incorrect. And it is incorrect. It simply isn’t a zero-sum game. We all deal with these things all the time.

    [i]What we are going to see Don is the proverbial straw breaking the camel’s back.[/i]
    It is complete nonsense, straight ideological myopia, that suggests that returning tax rates from 36% to 39% would cause any of the dire effects you are describing. This is the kind of vast hyperbole that we have come to expect from conservatives on the subject of taxes. It is completely out of touch with reality.
    A 3% change in taxes will not do any of the things you are describing.

    I guess deficit-reduction isn’t really a priority of conservatives. You just want to cut taxes and cut government and to hell with the consequences.

  77. Davis Progressive

    “Over 60% of the job growth comes from small business with 1-5 employees. “

    this doesn’t appear to be accurate – please cite a definitive and non-partisan source.

  78. Frankly

    Me: [i]”Over 60% of the job growth comes from small business with 1-5 employees.”[/i]

    Don: [i]this doesn’t appear to be accurate – please cite a definitive and non-partisan source.[/i]

    biddlin: [i]In all fairness, Don, these guys have proven that they aren’t too strong at math![/i]

    Math is fine, typing is not.

    That factoid should have been typed as 1-500 employees, and the exact number is 65% of the job creation. 1-500 is the IRS and SBA definition of “small business”.

    The points still stand. The larger company would be more insulated from direct owner tax increase impacts, but would likely have more executives. These executives having to chose between net pay reductions from tax increases and employee cuts would likely select employee cuts some of the time.

    In Don’s view, higher taxes just get magically absorbed without impact.

    That is fantasy stuff.

  79. Don Shor

    [i]For the rest of the world, you raise prices and you decrease revenue… unless you have a captive market.
    [/i]
    Before someone leaps to tell me I don’t understand Econ 1, I am going to explain this further. The average grocery store has something like 50,000 SKU’s. WalMart probably has 100,000 in a SuperCenter. Retailers have a target profit margin for their overall product mix. When a store puts toothpaste on sale, they adjust the price of other products to maintain their profit margin. If they decide that they need to increase their gross profit in order to compensate for something that threatens their net profit, they will adjust it across their product line in a manner that accounts for price sensitivity, volume, turnover, and myriad other factors.

    So if a business owner wants to maintain his or her income (which derives from the net profit) he or she can adjust prices higher on lower-sensitivity item, a little less on higher-sensitivity items, and so forth. Ultimately the retailer can recoup a small increase in certain expenses by managing markup and turnover.

    So the statement “you raise prices and you decrease revenue” is simplistic, and demonstrates a lack of knowledge about retail.

  80. Don Shor

    Yeah, there’s quite a difference between “1 – 5” and “1 – 500” employees!
    It’s not magical, Jeff. It’s just business management. We do it all the time.

  81. Frankly

    Don:[i]There is not, in fact, a direct correlation between a specific price increase and revenue loss.[/i]

    I hope for your business’s sake you rethink that opinion. It would seem to not be a good one to have for anyone in retail these days. Did the owners of Alphabet Moon have the same opinion?

    [quote][b]Price Elasticity[/b]

    Price elasticity tells how much of an impact a change in price will have on the consumers’ willingness to buy that item. If the price rises, the law of demand states that the quantity demanded of that item will decrease. Price elasticity of demand tells you how much the quantity demanded decreases. Elastic demand means that the consumers of that good or service are highly sensitive to changes in price. Usually, a good which is not a necessity or has numerous substitutes has elastic demand. Inelastic demand means that the consumers of that good are not highly sensitive to price changes. If the price of an inelastic good, say cigarettes, rises by 10 percent, maybe sales will only decrease by 1 percent. Consumers will still buy that good, typically because it is essential or has no substitutes.[/quote]
    So, Don… you benefit from price elasticity because you have limited competition. There is a correlation depending on the level of price elasticity. But if you are charging a premium for your products because you need a profit margine, competitors able to operate on a thinner profit margin will clean your clock. Think about Grocery for example… a retail industry that runs on the thinnest of margins. What might happen to Safeway if they set price based on profit margins and not based on a competitive analysis?

  82. Frankly

    [i]Hey Boone, did you ever try finding a solution instead of a scapegoat[/i]

    Hey biddlin, I am all about solutions. Throw me a problem (a real problem, not just one of your grouchy gripes) and I will outline a solution for you.

  83. Don Shor

    Oh, stop with your patronizing nonsense.
    NO, I don’t have “limited competition.” People have cars. I compete by adding value to my products. The value is my product knowledge, the selection from the growers I choose, and the quality I maintain in my inventory. People who shop strictly based on price go elsewhere. Those who want information and quality come to me.
    Every retailer uses price elasticity in their decision-making processes.

    Your last statement — [i]”What might happen to Safeway if they set price based on profit margins and not based on a competitive analysis?”[/i] — demonstrates how facile your reasoning is throughout this whole thing.
    What the hell do you think Safeway uses to set their markups and achieve their profit margins? Competitive analysis. How do you think Nugget stays in business? By variable markups based on price elasticity and competitive analysis.

  84. Don Shor

    [i]There is not, in fact, a direct correlation between a specific price increase and revenue loss.

    “I hope for your business’s sake you rethink that opinion. It would seem to not be a good one to have for anyone in retail these days. Did the owners of Alphabet Moon have the same opinion?”[/i]

    The more your SKU’s overlap, the greater the price sensitivity; i.e., the lower the price elasticity. Category killers have high overlap with specialty retailers.
    My statement is accurate. There is not a direct correlation between a [i]specific[/i] price increase and revenue loss. [i]Obviously[/i] there are limits to that.
    But to use an example that’s been much in the news lately: how many fewer pizzas do you think Papa John’s will sell if they increase the cost 15 cents to cover the supposed cost of the Affordable Care Act? That’s the range we’re talking about here. For businesses to cover the cost of a 3% increase in the tax rate on those few owners who make over $250,000 a year, the price increases would be relatively trivial.

  85. Frankly

    Don… see your last two words “competitive analysis” in your 3:17 PM post. Do you realize that you have come full circle to acknowledge my original point?

    That is all you had to write…. that price-setting requires competitive analysis.

    I was not trying to be patronizing. I honestly thought you were arguing against competition being a primary criteria for price-setting. In many businesses it is the ONLY criteria.

    My original point was that income tax increases on higher earners will reduce the net pay of owners and managers… the same people that are charged with maximizing profit and making the employee hiring and compensation decisions.

    Increase the tax rates and they will see a reduction in their net pay. Will they just tollerate that as a form of charity to big brother so he can distribute it to poorer people and fund more creative regulatory pain for their business; or look for business expenses to cut so they can increase their gross pay to make up the hit to their lifestyle caused by the tax increases?

    Some will do the latter, and that was my point. My ONLY point.

    You were making that case that a retailer (also, please note that only a percentage of small businesses are retail. Price-setting for most product and service companies is not nearly as flexible/elastic) can increase price to generate more revenue. Maybe I don’t understand retail; but if I was an investor in a retail business that was NOT constantly and perpetually adjusting price based on competitive analysis to maximize revenue, I would NOT be happy with management of that company. Maybe it is normal to leave potential retail business revenue on the table waiting for events like tax increases where you could then make price adjustments to compensate. That would be news to me.

  86. wdf1

    If Fox News was so off on projecting the election results, it makes me wonder if they might be incorrect about other things.

    The ‘Obamacare Layoffs’ Are Way Overblown ([url]http://www.businessinsider.com/the-truth-behind-the-obamacare-layoffs-2012-11[/url])

  87. Don Shor

    [i]Maybe it is normal to leave potential retail business revenue on the table waiting for events like tax increases where you could then make price adjustments to compensate.
    [/i]
    No, it is normal that conditions in the marketplace are constantly changing and you adjust accordingly. And minor changes in expenses are among those things you adjust to.

  88. wdf1

    This audio piece is very good.
    [quote]This American Life, 478: Red State Blue State ([url]http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/478/red-state-blue-state[/url])

    Everyone knows that politics is now so divided in our country that not only do the 2 sides disagree on the solutions to the country’s problems, they don’t even agree on what the problems are. It’s 2 versions of the world in collision. This week we hear from people who’ve seen this infect their personal lives. They’ve lost friends. They’ve become estranged from family members. A special pre-election episode of our show.[/quote]

  89. Frankly

    wdf1: Thanks for the link. This is very interesting. I am not surprised when this level of conflict exists in some parts of the country where more ignorance exists; but it is happening in enlightened, tolerant, educated places like Davis. I think I know why…

    We have had two ideologically tone-deaf Presidents in a row.

    Bush made left-leaning people seethe and the level of left and media vitriol against him was unprecedented. Vile websites like Huffington Post grew as an outlet for all that left frustration that the guy was amazingly voted in for a first and second term. Now the right is getting a similar taste of agitation that a right-ideology tone deaf President got re-elected.

    Bush got re-elected partially because voters were angry and he was leading the fight against the enemy. Obama seems to have benefited from a similar sentiment… leading the war to repair the economy, and voters re-elected him partially over fear of changing a leader during that war.

    But almost half the voters severely disliked Bush and almost half severely dislike Obama.

    The problem is that we need a strong leader to help bridge our differences, but are electing ideologically tone deaf Presidents who are weak leaders because of it.

    I was told by some liberal friends that Bush’s words, tone and body language were like nails on a chalkboard. The same has been true for me and other conservative friends listening to Obama. The left saw Bush as a danger to the US and world by much of the left. The right sees Obama as a danger to the US and the world by much of the right. Neither man had /has the leadership skills to bridge this gap.

    My theory is that it is a form of psychological/emotional response toward a feeling of rejection. I think this plays a huge part of life and politics. The human response to feeling rejected is one of the strongest. It might have some connection to our evolutionary and tribal past. Democrats leveraged the strong emotions of rejection to win the election… because it was the only way they could win.

    The Dems played a masterful campaign helping Latinos, Blacks, women and young people feeling rejected by the GOP. The GOP helped themselves in that too. But the Dems did most of the heavy-lifting here. They brought it back to the bad feelings of Bush. Bush did not feel their pain. He didn’t “get” them well enough. People felt rejected by him. Likewise, Obama does not get conservatives and white people well enough. He does not get, or else he does not care, about the fear of social, cultural and economic change occurring that threatens a way of life that many have grown accustom to.

  90. Frankly

    I think many white liberals are people that match disenfranchised groups for feeling like outsiders. Obama feels like an outsider. White liberals feel like outsiders. Latinos, blacks, women, Asians, gays… they all feel like outsiders. Young people always feel like outsiders because they are inexperienced in life and insecure. Most whites and seniors like the country as is. They understand it and appreciate the design. They feel accepted by it and feel that they are insiders. This election was the rise of all the disenfranchised people… those feeling like rejected outsiders… against the rest. They want to transform American into a new design that will make them feel more like insiders… to hell with the all the folks that like the country the way it is. Anger over rejection makes it irrelevant.

    Strong leaders would reach out to calm the nerves of those fearful of change, and reach out to better embrace and direct those fearful of rejection and being left outside. Strong leaders get how the fear of and anger of rejection should be used in a healing and bridging process.

    Both Bush and Obama were/are weak leaders that have had to divide and conquer to keep power. They have both done irreparable harm to American solidarity and national unity. We are a country greatly divided.

    I think Romney, with all his flaws, was the better choice to help bring us back together. He is both and outsider, and someone that gets the fear that insiders are feeling over the treat of transformation.

    Obama won’t get it done. He will make the division greater. Now we have to wait another four years to start repairing the damage he has done, and will do.

  91. medwoman

    Jeff

    “Most conservative like me have a fundamental problem with the fact that more and more of the tax burden is more born by fewer and fewer people at the top and less born by a greater percentage of people at the bottom. “

    Ok, I understand that. Now let me paraphrase:

    Most liberals like me have a fundamental problem with the fact that more and more of the wealth is controlled and enjoyed by fewer and fewer people at the top and less available to the greater percentage of people at the bottom.

    You make the assumption that those at the top, by virtue of their control of the wealth, are more deserving of their wealth. I make no such assumption. You note ( unsupported by the way) that the majority of the wealthy have worked 12-15 hours per day to achieve their wealth.
    Many field workers and minimum wage employees also work 12-15 hours per day but do not get to control and enjoy wealth equal to those at the top. You like to say that this is because those at the top are “job creators”. While this is true for some, it is blatantly not true for others ( Bain Capital ? ). There are many who have acquired wealth through nothing more than the manipulation of the money of others.
    You abhor this when it is the government spending “other people’s money”, but seem to find it entirely acceptable when it is a corporation (calling it “constructive destruction” ) that is “picking the winners and losers”. For me this is the height of irony. It completely ignores that in the US, we choose our government through the elective process and the money that is being spent is that of all of us including our elected officials, not “other people’s” the way you like to characterize it. Tell me Jeff, how my vote can in any way affect who runs a major corporation ? But it certainly can affect who makes policy for all of us.

  92. medwoman

    Jeff

    “I think Romney, with all his flaws, was the better choice to help bring us back together. He is both and outsider, and someone that gets the fear that insiders are feeling over the treat of transformation. “

    I completely agree that Romney gets the fear that insiders feel over the threat of transformation. What I find incredible is that you see the man who made ( while under no pressure, in a welcoming, like minded group) the comment that 47% of the population do not take responsibility for their own lives, and then initially stood by it ( therefore indicating that it was not just an accidental slip of the tongue ) as a unifier.

    What could possibly be more a manifestation of “class warfare”, disdain, contempt and division than this blatant denigration of almost half of the population !

  93. David M. Greenwald

    I find that Jeff has a tough time getting outside of his own filters in his analysis. After all, one could argue how could Romney really be a better uniter when he could not unite a majority of voters against a vulnerable incumbent?

  94. Frankly

    We will see David. I just read that the hard left is going after Obama demanding that he reject budget cuts and focus on tax increases. I’m not sure how united your team is other than the common elements I wrote about. They have a history of fighting among themselves. They are held together by common distrust and bias against white males and successful people. It is right out of the common playbook of all populist power grabs. Remember when Hugo Chavez handed Obama the book?

    Obama earned 8 million fewer votes this re-election. That is unprecedented and a good sign that he is not as popular as you would like him to be to support your superior political framework.

    Medwoman: you are growing a leftist ideologue’s mythology over Romney’s 47% comments. When might we degrade to the point where the left pulls out the Hitler card on Romney? I think you need to go back and listen to the actual recorded statements.

    The fundamental problem with your economic and class-based worldview is that wealth has to be created to exist. You really don’t seem to understand that.

    There is another left myth that economic successful people are “stealing” the wealth from the working class. It is frankly a nonsense point of view. The envy and anger that seems to burn in the liberal mind over this story that wealth is just laying around, and it is only luck that allows some people to grab it… well it is extraordinarily irrational and a sign that some education or counseling might be in order.

    There has been no grand scheme being worked on for more wealth growing at the top. The way the left pushes this class warfare template you would expect a new Oliver Stone movie about a room full of Gordon Gekkos all conspiring to stick it to all the working class people so they can pocket their wages. That would support the conspiracy theory nuts!

    The changes that have occurred are simple to understand. It is a pyramid-shaped ladder of prosperity that has grown much larger because of the advance of the global economy and growing efficiency. At the bottom and middle of the pyramid is labor. There are many more low, medium and high-skilled workers throughout the globe. We are working through a period of global wage leveling for the global working class. America lost that advantage and continues to lose because of the advance of other countries that have effectively copied us, and because of our crappy education system. Also, technology has pushed the envelope for efficiency. Magnificent machines do the work that human labor used to do. Again, our relatively higher wages combined with our crappy education system ensures that fewer Americans get to make those machines.

    The left – fueled by union thugs – are demanding that the top of pyramid hand more of their earned wealth to the lower parts of the pyramid though government redistribution. That is what Juan Peron did. That is what Greece, Spain and Portugal have done.

    It is exactly the type of uninformed, irrational, emotive, reactionary response that will ensure America loses its economic strength and slides toward third-world status.

    The correct solution is to focus on MORE wealth creation, much greater economic growth and expansion and a significant reform to our education system. The goal should be to increase the hand-up and boost for more people the advance up that ladder… not to punish the top of the ladder for being so successful by making them fund more hand-outs to the people on the lower rungs… who will learn that it is easier to just hang out on those rungs rather than strive to move up.

  95. Don Shor

    “…bias against white males…Hugo Chavez…Hitler card…crappy education system…union thugs…Juan Peron…Greece, Spain, and Portugal…”

    The world according to Jeff.

  96. Frankly

    “…bias against latinos, women, poor people, gays, blacks, young people… Greedy Oligarch card… crappy education funding system that mistreats teachers and hurts children… CEO thugs… George Bush… bad America”

    The world according to my lefty bloggin’ friends.

  97. wdf1

    JB: [i]The world according to my lefty bloggin’ friends.[/i]

    You left out a few things:

    science believin’, same-sex marriage lovin’, expanded healthcare seekin’, Dream Act dreamin’,…

    [i]bad America[/i]

    I don’t see lefty people thinking America is bad, and definitely not more than conservatives who daydream about seceding from the U.S. and assert that America is going to hell in a handbasket.

    I used to define myself as moderate who was capable of voting Republican, but the Republicans just drifted off into far-right field.

  98. Frankly

    [i]”science believin'”[/i]

    Reminds me of the beating I received bringing up the Medieval Warm Period as proof that earth warming occured before there were liberals and industry.

    [quote]Four recent studies have now rehabilitated the MWP as a period of unusual warmth, though they disagree on whether it was as warm or warmer than today.

    Jan Esper of the University of Mainz and his colleagues looked at pine wood densities from Sweden and Finland and found “evidence for substantial warmth during Roman and medieval times, larger in extent and longer in duration than 20th-century warmth.” Bo Christiansen of the Danish Meteorological Institute and Fredrik Ljungqvist of Stockholm University looked at 32 indicators across the Northern Hemisphere and found the level of warmth during the peak of the MWP “in the second half of the 10th century equaling or slightly exceeding the mid-20th century warming.”

    Thomas Melvin of the University of East Anglia and colleagues reanalyzed one of the tree samples from Sweden used in the “hockey stick” and concluded: “We can infer the existence of generally warm summers in the 10th and 11th centuries, similar to the level of those in the 20th century.”

    A fourth study of creatures called diatoms in Chinese lake sediments found that the period “between ca. A.D. 1150 and 1200 was the warmest interval of the past 1,000 years.”

    Taken together, these studies cast doubt on the IPCC’s conclusion in 2007 that “the evidence is not sufficient to support a conclusion that [Northern] hemispheric mean temperatures were as warm, or the extent of warm regions as expansive, as those in the 20th century as a whole, during any period in medieval times.”[/quote]
    But hey, as the Journey song says: “Don’t stop belivin'”

  99. Frankly

    [i]I used to define myself as moderate who was capable of voting Republican, but the Republicans just drifted off into far-right field.[/i]

    I am a social moderate, but I could never vote for a Democrat given the control of the liberal wing over fiscal matters.

  100. biddlin

    Here, Boone, maybe this will help .
    From Mark Morford’s “Notes and Erata” blog
    Twilight of the old white guys
    “Is it not the most astonishing thing? The country is not getting any whiter, older white bigoted people are helpfully dying off, and we now have a messy and nearly incomprehensible Catherine wheel of assorted nonwhite minorities (and women) all spinning, dancing and surging into the limelight – not to mention the cross-breeds, the already mixed, the racially unidentifiable who are, say, a quarter black, a quarter Chinese, a quarter Indian, a third polyamorous and a tenth Cuban kinky hipster lesbian schoolteacher, with a no-religious-affiliation kicker. Sweet.
    This is your new American majority, each and every one of whom terrifies the old guard, the rich white guys, Ted Nugent, Bill O’Reilly, and the way it used to be. And this is why the Republican party threw every repulsive weapon it had at Obama to try and avert the inevitable; deep down, they sensed their own imminent obsolescence, even if they didn’t quite believe it was possible.
    And oh, they tried everything. Racism. Birtherism. Sexism. Abortion, birth control, “legitimate rape” and irresponsible “sluts.” Religious intolerance, homophobia, xenophobia, Socialism, Communism, Nazis, Kenya, monkeys, Big Bird, gun rights, tax laws, welfare, elitism, oil shortages, health care reform that would secretly herd up and kill the elderly. Just for starters.”
    http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/

  101. Don Shor

    Jeff: debate about the hockey-stick and the MWP is lively and ongoing. That sort of disproves your ‘group-think’ argument on other threads. The IPCC is a consensus document, with some notable errors that are brought up publicly and discussed in many venues. They will likely be modified in future IPCC reports, assuming a consensus is achieved. Which also sort of disproves your ‘group-think’ argument on other threads. That’s how the process works.

  102. Frankly

    Don, so let me understand this. I am supposed to not challenge any science that is broadcast as consensus even if the things I challenge end up being also challenged by the very science that has demanded that I accept the consensus?

    From my perspective, it seems it is the worst type of group-think. Self-protective of its opinions without ever having to admit it was wrong. Sounds like the Obama Administration.

    I got hammered by several people on this blog – including you – for using MWP as a basis for challenging the very important part of the anthropogenic global warming theory that says it has never been this warm. The argument back at me was that MWP had already been disproved by science as having been as warm and as widespread as the current warming period. Now, with more studies and evidence, we are back to the point that Greenland was actually green a thousand years ago and last we all checked there wasn’t much man-made carbon floating around in the atmosphere at that time.

    If MWP is determined to have been as warm as or warmer than the current period, then doesn’t that create some major problems for the theories of anthropogenic climate change? I think so.

  103. Frankly

    Don, I’m not sure this topic fits in this article. I am done blogging about politics for now. I have written about all I care to write about it. I have had a constant headache since the election, and biddlin keeps it pounding.

    However, I am interested in your points/views on this MWP science and the potential implications for the existing models and theories for climate change.

    Education is also on my radar.

  104. medwoman

    Jeff

    [quote]If MWP is determined to have been as warm as or warmer than the current period, then doesn’t that create some major problems for the theories of anthropogenic climate change? I think so.[/quote]

    No, It does not. Just because global warming may have occurred in the past and may not have been due to human activity at that time does not mean that it cannot be occurring again and have human activity as a factor.

  105. Don Shor

    Jeff: See myths 2 and 4 on this post at realclimate. [url]http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=11#myth2[/url]

    The studies cited in your Wall Street Journal op-ed are interesting. When I see things like that, I go to the original research articles. The first one I went to contradicted the op-ed author’s conclusion. Easy enough to do this kind of checking, sometimes: you can just Google the researchers and find the publication, if it isn’t behind a paywall. It is possible that, as he says, “these studies cast doubt on the IPCC’s conclusion in 2007” — but it seems unlikely since the first instance I checked out doesn’t bear out his analysis.

    [i]”I am supposed to not challenge any science that is broadcast as consensus even if the things I challenge end up being also challenged by the very science that has demanded that I accept the consensus?”
    [/i]
    Sorry, but I don’t understand what you are asking me.

  106. Don Shor

    This is an interesting overview of the discussion surrounding MWP and LIA: [url]http://www.skepticalscience.com/medieval-warm-period-intermediate.htm[/url]
    As one commenter says: “LIA and MWP seem to have been more likely regional than global in nature.”
    There is no dispute about regional warm and cool data at different times, including some of historical interest. But of the four cited in your op-ed, three are local data — so they just confirm what is already basically known. And the other one (Christiansen) is the one that doesn’t appear to support the op-ed author’s conclusions. Also note that comparisons to “20th Century” or “mid-20th Century” data need to be more specific. The global trend that is most alarming is the last half of the last century.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for