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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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26  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: WSJ now openly calling for plutocratic oligarchy on: September 13, 2014, 10:12:57 am
Dumb article that attempts to create sympathy for monopolistic pricing power by foiling against the straw man of perfect competition. Perfect competition doesn't exist, and competition is the motivating factor that causes firms to seek price leverage.

It's just shock journalism.

We no longer have a predominantly-competitive economy. Cartels and trusts are the norm in the "new" America, and they own nearly half of the political system. Competition has become a command toward working people who are expected to compete to see who is most willing to suffer for economic elites. What we get from the non-competitive economy is suspect.

Although I can accept the idea of a monopolist operating in a naturally-constricted market (there might be room for only one business in the activity, and monopoly pricing is the only way for someone to participate in the local economy because a business owner must make a living -- there might be room for only one grocer, repair shop, or gas station in that market), I cannot accept it as an excuse for class privilege  except out of fear of consequences to my bodily integrity or personal freedom. (Basically, support plutocracy or go on trial for treason or meet a death squad with my name on its execration/execution list).

Monopolies get high profits by constricting supply -- creating shortages that allow high prices, prices above market. Monopolies raise costs upon all other businesses and reduce the ability of other businesses to compete in the world market.  Monopolistic pricing operates much like a tax upon those who need the monopolist's output as inputs. Thus, suppose that American steel costs $150 a ton in contrast to $40 on the world market. An American-built vehicle made in the United States has a built-in disadvantage of $110 per ton of steel. So if the steel business is non-competitive and the rail-car manufacturing business is competitive, American rail-car manufacturers will have a difficult time exporting.

Monopolists ordinarily give very poor service, even to the extent of an adversarial relationship with its customers.  By constraining supply they as a rule create unemployment.

The excuse that monopolies foster innovation is a sham. Monopolists do everything possible to ensure that they get no competition. They lavish funds on politicians who promise to enforce monopoly conditions.  Innovation by any other than themselves is a hazard to monopolists with captive markets.

 
27  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Polls on Same-Sex Marriage State Laws on: September 13, 2014, 09:46:56 am
So what happened?

So far every state (since Pennsylvania)  in which one of the appellate courts has deemed SSM bans void has some elected official who has effective veto power over the ruling -- and has used it, at the least to delay SSM in the state.

Some appeals will go to the US Supreme Court, which has usually taken a harsh view of nullification and delay in accommodating rulings by appellate courts.   
28  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Ted Cruz booed off stage at Middle Eastern Christian conference on: September 13, 2014, 08:40:44 am
Being "pro-Israel" (whatever that means) is starting to mean being pro-genocide.

That's basically it, sadly.  And the media along with most politicians are complicit in this.

That's how Sheldon Adelson promotes US-Israeli relations.

Permanent war with the Arab neighbors and near-neighbors of Israel is bad for Israel. Peace is the definitive achievement of national security.
29  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Molotov cocktail thrown into Rep. Cleaver's (D-MO) office on: September 11, 2014, 11:47:19 pm
I couldn't believe the comments in the link.

The BATF does a good job on connecting bombs to perpetrators. Fingerprints are hard to keep off a Molotov cocktail.   
30  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Eisenhower or McGovern? on: September 11, 2014, 11:17:03 pm
Where are all the people who voted Eisenhower?  Huh  Come on, don't be shy.  Seriously, nobody will yell at you.  Tongue

I'm one of them. I am a Democrat, and a very partisan one now.

Eisenhower was the right President for his time. His Interstate Highway System may have had its flaws, but it spurred economic growth where it was built and paid for itself with a reduction in highway carnage. He got us out of a stalemated war, and kept us out of others. He presided over shrunken deficits and surpluses. He let Joseph R. McCarthy implode. He showed some Southern pols what the law was on segregation. He avoided scandals.

He was so effective that his VP came close to succeeding him as President and probably would have had he not been so ugly. That's a reference to the appearance of Richard Nixon.

He proved himself with some amazing electoral successes. He won the two northern states (Massachusetts and Rhode Island) that went for Al Smith in 1928, and he won the two states that have been the exceptions to the two subsequent 49-state wipe-outs of 1972 (Massachusetts) and 1984 (Minnesota) -- twice. He put four Western states (Arizona, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming) into the GOP camp to the extent that only once has any one of them gone for the Democratic nominee after 1952.
31  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 Gubernatorial Election Polls / Re: MI: Glengariff Group: Snyder clings to lead on: September 11, 2014, 04:17:15 pm
The same poll has Peters up ten, which might be a little high for where it will probably end up.  If anything, Snyder might be up by even a little more than a point.  The fact that he might actually survive after passing right-to-work probably says more about the plight of unions in the country than it does about Michigan, but that would truly be one of the most striking wins of the year if Snyder pulls it off, especially if his Senate candidate gets demolished in an otherwise strong GOP year.  Amazing.

The unions will have a strong GOTV effort in place. They are loaded for bear.
32  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Marriage bans struck down in Indiana and Wisconsin on: September 11, 2014, 04:07:17 pm
Congrats again, JCL.

Our ban is constituitional. It was a bunch of politicians who kept us from having our vote on the subject in November.

State legislatures cannot nullify the Constitution of the United States or rulings of the Supreme Court except collectively and with two-thirds of both Houses of Congress in the amendment of the Constitution.
33  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: Michigan-PPP: Hillary leads all by double digits on: September 11, 2014, 03:07:59 pm
Michigan in recent binary Presidential elections:

Year      Pct D   Pct R  Margin   National Result

2012      54       45        9        D+4
2008      57       41      16        D+7  
2004      51       48        3        R+3
2000      51       46        5       even* 
1988      46       54        8         R+7

A Democratic nominee  needs to win Michigan by at least 5% to win nationwide. Unlike the case in 2000, "even" in nationwide voting favors a Democrat.   Michigan is roughly D+5.

*We all know how the 2000 election turned ou t. Because of Ross Perot, neither the 1992 nor 1996 election was really binary.     
34  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Hammer and sickle spray-painted on statue of Confederate general on: September 11, 2014, 09:51:42 am
All vandalism is horrible vandalism.

I beg to differ.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalin_Monument_%28Budapest%29
35  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Ted Cruz booed off stage at Middle Eastern Christian conference on: September 10, 2014, 10:28:28 pm
http://dailycaller.com/2014/09/10/ted-cruz-booed-off-stage-at-middle-east-christian-conference-video/#ixzz3CyDdAfsM

Quote
Sen. Ted Cruz was booed offstage at a conference for Middle Eastern Christians Wednesday night after saying that “Christians have no greater ally than Israel.”

Cruz, the keynote speaker at the sold-out D.C. dinner gala for the recently-founded non-profit In Defense of Christians, began by saying that “tonight, we are all united in defense of Christians. Tonight, we are all united in defense of Jews. Tonight, we are all united in defense of people of good faith, who are standing together against those who would persecute and murder those who dare disagree with their religious teachings.”

Many Christians in the Middle East take issue with Israeli military policy, which has made life for Palestinian Christians in their homeland very difficult, and driven many from their homes. “Israel’s policies have led to demographic pressure that’s made the West Bank and Gaza far more Muslim than in 1948,” explained one Middle East analyst.




What a moron!
36  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: AP: Obama to deepen America's military role in Mideast on: September 10, 2014, 10:18:40 pm
Good, good. Let's just hope it's not too little, too late.

It would also be helpful if he could time victory in this conflict for late October.

That would be luck.

ISIS is not the sort of people who seek or get a negotiated peace. Neither is it likely to surrender.
37  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: 2016 Official Polling Map Thread on: September 10, 2014, 08:57:59 pm
I really wish the color coding would be consistent.

Eric and I are measuring different things.

1. He has maps for swings, which I do not have.

2. He is averaging polls; I do not average polls unless the polls are within a week from each other. I normally replace polls with new ones.

3. I reject polls that seem grossly out of line (unless someone corroborates them) and any in which someone  leads with less than 40% of the vote. Thus I have no poll from New Hampshire, the poll that Eric accepted being something like a 38-37 poll.

4. Check the legends on any maps that either of us make.

38  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: 2016 Official Polling Map Thread on: September 10, 2014, 08:46:16 pm
Quote
Hillary Clinton leads the entire GOP field for President in Florida, although a match up with Jeb Bush would be very close with Clinton holding only a 46/44 advantage. She leads by at least 7 points over the rest of the GOP field- it's 49/42 over Marco Rubio, 46/38 over Chris Christie, 48/40 over Rand Paul, 49/40 over Mike Huckabee, and 51/36 over Ted Cruz.

PPP surveyed 818 likely voters from September 4th to 7th. The margin of error for the survey is
+/- 3.4%. 80% of interviews for the poll were conducted over the phone with 20% interviewed
over the internet to reach respondent s who don’t have landline telephones.

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2014/PPP_Release_FL_909704.pdf

Mid-week poll, which could distort things some from the usual weekend poll; it might catch fewer working people than a weekend poll.

How is Sept. 4th-7th "mid-week"?


Whoops -- not strictly a weekend poll. 
39  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Senate advances anti-Citizens United amendment on: September 10, 2014, 11:00:02 am
Oh, are the Koch brothers journalists now?

The Media does coordinate with the Republican Party.

Some media outlets (most notoriously FoX Propaganda Channel) do exactly that.
40  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: FL-PPP: Clinton leads Bush, Christie, Cruz, Huckabee, Paul, Rubio on: September 10, 2014, 07:22:25 am
It's also a mid-week poll (polling on the Labor Day weekend would have distorted things even more).

Although a Democratic nominee can win without Florida (just think of how anticlimactic the Florida result was in 2012), a Republican nominee will need Florida to have a chance of winning the Presidency.   
41  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: 2016 Official Polling Map Thread on: September 10, 2014, 07:17:54 am
Quote
Hillary Clinton leads the entire GOP field for President in Florida, although a match up with Jeb Bush would be very close with Clinton holding only a 46/44 advantage. She leads by at least 7 points over the rest of the GOP field- it's 49/42 over Marco Rubio, 46/38 over Chris Christie, 48/40 over Rand Paul, 49/40 over Mike Huckabee, and 51/36 over Ted Cruz.

PPP surveyed 818 likely voters from September 4th to 7th. The margin of error for the survey is
+/- 3.4%. 80% of interviews for the poll were conducted over the phone with 20% interviewed
over the internet to reach respondent s who don’t have landline telephones.

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2014/PPP_Release_FL_909704.pdf

Mid-week poll, which could distort things some from the usual weekend poll; it might catch fewer working people than a weekend poll. Not as strong as the recent Q poll (which I did not believe or show in my maps) in Florida, but bad news for all Republicans trying to succeed President Obama.  Jeb Bush, who would probably have been a better President than his brother, would need to win Florida fair-and-square -- especially if Charlie Crist is Governor. He would have a significant edge in Florida over any other possible  R nominee, but most likely not enough of an edge. Hillary Clinton could still be elected President without Florida, but no Republican can be elected President without Florida.   


Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush




Hillary Clinton vs. Chris Christie


   

Hillary Clinton vs. Mike Huckabee



Hillary Clinton vs. Rand Paul




blue, Republican -- red, Democratic

30% -- lead with 40-49% but a margin of 3% or less
40% -- lead with 40-49% but a margin of 4% or more
60% -- lead with 50-54%
70% -- lead with 55-59%
90% -- lead with 60% or more




42  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Senate advances anti-Citizens United amendment on: September 09, 2014, 03:16:29 pm
How come not more Republicans opposed it?

I think that they want to show some semblance of independence from the Koch brothers. Roberts needs some Koch-aine for his shaky re-election bid this year; Johnson,  Portman and  Toomey will need it in 2016.
43  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: Michigan-PPP: Hillary leads all by double digits on: September 09, 2014, 03:11:06 pm
I noted that in a lot of polls, Hillary gets the worst % against Christie. In this poll, she is at 48% against Christie, but she is at 49%, 50% and 51% against the others.
The same in Alaska:
Hillary vs Palin: 46/40 (D +6%)
Hillary vs Huckabee: 39/47 (R +8%)
Hillary vs Bush: 38/47 (R +9%)
Hillary vs Christie: 34/45 (R +11%)
Hillary vs Rand Paul: 36/50 (R +14%)
and in Arkansas (excluding Huck)
Bush 46% Clinton 41%
Christie 42% Clinton 41%
Cruz 46% Clinton 42%
Huckabee 55% Clinton 39%
Paul 45% Clinton 42%
and in Kansas
Hillary - Jeb Bush: 39-45
Hillary - Huckabee: 41-46
Hillary - Rand Paul: 41-45
Hillary - Christie 38-42
Hillary - Ted Cruz: 42-43
and in North Carolina
Clinton 45% Huckabee 44%
Clinton 46% Bush 42%
Clinton 47% Paul 42%
Clinton 47% Cruz 41%
Clinton 45% Christie 38%

Why?

I wouldn't make much of a 1% difference at this stage.

Huckabee is an execrable match for the political culture outside the South except perhaps Alaska, which has many Texans and Oklahomans in the oil industry. Christie is a poor match for the political demographic who used to vote for Senator Jesse Helms. Jeb Bush is the definitive "establishment" Republican.
44  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: 2016 Official Polling Map Thread on: September 09, 2014, 03:03:08 pm
Michigan, PPP.

Quote
If Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee for President in 2016 it appears the state will remain safely blue. She has double digit advantages over all of her potential Republican opponents- 49/39 over Rand Paul, 49/38 over Jeb Bush, 48/36 over Chris Christie, 50/38 over Mike Huckabee, and 51/37 over Ted Cruz.

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2014/09/peters-has-biggest-lead-snyder-and-schauer-tight.html#more

Michigan is nowhere close to being close for the 2016 Presidential election.


Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush




Hillary Clinton vs. Chris Christie


   

Hillary Clinton vs. Mike Huckabee



Hillary Clinton vs. Rand Paul




blue, Republican -- red, Democratic

30% -- lead with 40-49% but a margin of 3% or less
40% -- lead with 40-49% but a margin of 4% or more
60% -- lead with 50-54%
70% -- lead with 55-59%
90% -- lead with 60% or more



45  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Partisan advantages for state governors, 2012-2016, by margin on: September 09, 2014, 02:55:49 pm
PPP: Incumbent Republican Governor Rick Snyder is 1 up on his Democratic challenger in a tight effort to win re-election.

Quote
September 4-7, 2014
Survey of 687 likely voters

Michigan Survey Results

Q2
Do you approve or disapprove of Governor
Rick Snyder’s job performance?
43%
Approve
..........................................................
51%
Disapprove
......................................................
6%
Not sure
.........................................................
Q16
Generally speaking, if there was an election for
the state legislature today, would you vote for
the Democratic or Republican candidate from
your district?
48%
Democrat
........................................................
41%
Republican
......................................................
11%
Not sure
..........................................................
Q17
Do you support or oppose the right-to-work
legislation passed in Michigan in 2012?
41%
Support
...........................................................
45%
Oppose
...........................................................
14%
Not sure
..........................................................
Q18
Would you support or oppose a ballot measure
to repeal the right-to-work law?
48%
Support
...........................................................
36%
Oppose
...........................................................
17%
Not sure
..........................................................
Q19
Do you support or oppose the increase in taxes
on retirement income from pensions that was
passed in 2011?
17%
Support
...........................................................
74%
Oppose
...........................................................
9%
Not sure
.........................................................

Weak for an incumbent Republican who has no scandals. He has pushed some unpopular measures on behalf of the Koch brothers.

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2014/PPP_Release_MI_909925.pdf

Snyder can lose to a strong GOTV campaign.

  


1-3%       20% saturation
4-7%       40% saturation
8%-20%  60% saturation
over 20% 80% saturation

Behind, yellow the colors to green for Republicans  and orange for Democrats. Dark shades of orange are really brown.  Ties are yellow.

White is for a non-partisan Governor, independent Governor, no Governor, or any transition to a new one (death, resignation, disqualification, impeachment and removal, defeat, or not campaigning for re-election).


46  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Partisan advantages for state governors, 2012-2016, by margin on: September 09, 2014, 02:47:26 pm
Why is Iowa in green? I thought Terry Branstad was super popular.

The most recent poll that I saw had him just slightly less approved than disapproved.
47  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Obama 2.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: September 09, 2014, 02:43:20 pm
September 4-7, 2014

Michigan Survey Results
Q1
Do you approve or disapprove of President
Barack Obama’s job performance?
42%
Approve
..........................................................
50%
Disapprove
......................................................
8%
Not sure
..........................................................




60% or higher maroon (70% saturation)
55-59% medium red (50% saturation)

50-54% pink (30% saturation)
45-49% orange -- Obama ahead (30% saturation)
45-49% yellow -- exact tie (40% saturation)
45-49% aqua -- Obama behind (20% saturation)
44% blue (20% saturation)
40-43% blue (50% saturation)
30-40% deep blue (70% saturation)
under 30%(90% saturation)















[/quote]
48  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Forbes: "President Obama’s administration has outperformed President Reagan’s" on: September 08, 2014, 08:41:20 pm
Economic stewardship is part of the job of President since the 1920s. If Dubya got mediocre growth for a short time upon a speculative boom based on predatory lending that imploded, making him the worst President in economic stewardship since at least Herbert Hoover, then Barack Obama gets high marks for presiding over solid growth without any semblance of a speculative boom.
49  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Ted Cruz's dad: “The Average Black Does Not” Understand The Minimum Wage Is Bad on: September 07, 2014, 10:47:29 pm
Jobs disappeared in factories as they appeared in fast food places and shopping malls. Assembly lines usually paid well; food service and merchandising have typically been low-paying activities. If anything, minimum wages would have slowed the growth of jobs in the job-growth areas such as fast food and retail sales of the 1980s.

Surely, you're joking. America's inability to prepare food at home, and their relatively recent love of retail goods is somehow related to the lack of US manufacturing?

No connection -- except that it took two clerical jobs to make the same income as one assembly-line job.
50  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Ted Cruz's dad: “The Average Black Does Not” Understand The Minimum Wage Is Bad on: September 07, 2014, 03:08:33 pm
I don't know why he had to bring black people into this.

He didn't inject race into a conversation where it doesn't exist. Since the 1970s, data and economic research have indicated that the unintended consequences of minimum wage increases are shouldered by young inner-city minorities, particularly African American males.

The shift of employment from brute-force labor such as assembly-line work to more sophisticated service work that requires more behavioral refinement was inevitable. This was inevitable. The sorts of people who used to be hired as assembly-line workers are not the sorts that one wants doing even the lowest level of personal contact (as in fast food).

Jobs disappeared in factories as they appeared in fast food places and shopping malls. Assembly lines usually paid well; food service and merchandising have typically been low-paying activities. If anything, minimum wages would have slowed the growth of jobs in the job-growth areas such as fast food and retail sales of the 1980s. 

Quote
Any increase in minimum wage is effectively an attack on minority workers in urban environments. Feeble attempts to defend minimum wage policy have been made, but the end result of minimum wage increase is always the same. Declining unemployment amongst America's youth, which really hammers down urban youths from the lower-middle-class.

Teenagers were not getting the assembly-line jobs that offered middle income. If teenagers were in the suburbs they could easily find the near-minimum-wage jobs that allowed them to buy clothes, electronic gadgets, and even cars because they were still living with supportive parents who recognized that the pay was too poor to live on. If teenagers were in the poor areas with few fast-food places or shopping malls, then they had to commute to those jobs or do without. In 1990 I could see a huge difference. It was hard to find restaurants in impoverished South Dallas, in contrast to North Dallas in which fast food places are everywhere.
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