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16726  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: McCain suspends campaign temporarily and asks for postponement of debate on: September 24, 2008, 07:01:28 pm
Most of you don't get it.  This is McCain's "I shall go to Korea."  He's running against an Adlai Stevenson type; he's a military hero.  We're in 1952.

Problem is, McCain is using a play from the 1980 Carter playbook, not the 1952 Eisenhower one.
16727  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: in the event of 269-269 on: September 24, 2008, 06:54:12 pm

I really don't think many people are sick enough to put in a Democratic President and a Republican Vice President (and vice versa). It would be a disaster and there really isn't a partisan advantage to it.

Unless the Republicans do the unimaginable and gain a Senate seat this election, there is no way a tie results in a Republican Vice President regardless of what Lieberman does in this hypothetical.  The way the rule is written, it takes 51 Senators, not 50 plus the Vice President to settle the tie. (Nor would a vote of 50-49 settle the issue.)
16728  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: McCain suspends campaign temporarily and asks for postponement of debate on: September 24, 2008, 06:32:22 pm
Considering how well the rose garden strategy worked for Carter (i.e. cut down on campaigning to deal with a crisis) what was McCain (and more importantly, the campaign professionals that are working for) thinking when he came up with this idiotic stunt?  It has been enough to shift me from Strong McCain to Lean McCain.
16729  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: McCain, Carter, and a Friday night on: September 24, 2008, 06:25:18 pm
This is the most bone-headed political decision since Carter decided to cut back on campaigning to concentrate on the hostage crisis.  Whoever the heck in the McCain campaign didn't try to talk him out of this stunt deserves to never work in politics again.  It's enough to make me second guess my choice of candidate.  I still come out with an answer of McCain, but instead of enthusiasm for McCain, it's now because I think Obama would make an even worse mess of the economy than McCain.  I am not happy.  Back in the warm, sunny days of July I was thinking that 2008 wasn't going to be one of those "lesser of two weevils" elections, but that's what it is looking like now.
16730  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: WA: Survey USA: Obama Leaps to an 11% Lead in WA on: September 23, 2008, 11:31:22 pm
Not enough for me to move Washington out of the D Lean column, as I'm not yet convinced Obama has a 10% or more lead here.
16731  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 on: September 23, 2008, 11:28:19 pm
Of course, which is why nothing bad happened until the financial markets were deregulated under Bush.

Gramm-Leach-Bliley was passed in Clinton's second term, and it basically made legal the wink-wink nudge-nudge ignoring of Glass-Steagle that happened earlier in Clinton's presidency.  Whether or not one thinks deregulation was a major mistake, it was done on a bipartisan basis during the Clinton presidency, not during either Bush presidency.
16732  General Discussion / History / Re: The Greatest American on: September 23, 2008, 07:58:13 pm
Washington - without a doubt.

When you consider that almost always the commanding general of a revolution goes on to be a dictator, he truly was an exceptional individual.  And before we get any idiots chiming in about how it wasn't the man, but his Anglo-American culture, let me remind them of Oliver Cromwell.

Wouldn't Washington be almost ruled out as a monarch by his lack of issue?  Between that and his age, his reign wouldn't have had any chance of lasting past his death, and that death wouldn't be that far off.

Lack of issue has not been an issue that has deterred other dictators.  Founding a dynasty is not the sole reason dictators take power.  Julius Caesar had no issue either.
16733  General Discussion / History / Re: The Greatest American on: September 23, 2008, 06:44:44 pm
Washington - without a doubt.

When you consider that almost always the commanding general of a revolution goes on to be a dictator, he truly was an exceptional individual.  And before we get any idiots chiming in about how it wasn't the man, but his Anglo-American culture, let me remind them of Oliver Cromwell.
16734  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Is the USA building Socialism with American Characteristics? on: September 23, 2008, 06:32:58 pm
No.  That would require some degree of lip-service at least to worker control.  What we're getting economically is Corporatism with American Characteristics.
16735  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Decider's Biggest Blunder on: September 23, 2008, 06:32:07 pm
Iraq really ought to be slip into at least two items.

1. Going into Iraq
2. Botching the occupation of Iraq.

#1 did not necessarily have to lead to #2, and I imagine that there would be those who would consider #1 to have been a mistake, even if #2 had never happened.
16736  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential Election Campaign / Re: Palin bans reporters from meetings with leaders on: September 23, 2008, 05:14:10 pm
The idea that the press is entitled to cover any meeting they wish to cover is ludicrous, and if the press does throw a hissyfit over this, it helps the McCain/Palin ticket.  By "hissyfit" I mean deciding to not cover other Palin photo-ops where they are allowed access because they couldn't get in to the ones they wanted to.  Pointing out that Palin is ducking public scrutiny of her meetings with foreign leaders doesn't fall into the category of hissyfit at all.
16737  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: forum Bush approval rating on: September 22, 2008, 11:20:59 pm
I haven't seen any of Bush's posts on this forum, so I don't have an opinion on him here.
16738  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Are the fundamentals of the economy strong? on: September 22, 2008, 11:16:03 pm
Depends on whether you consider Wall Street to be "fundamental" or not.  The economy has certainly been battered by the shenanigans on Wall Street and by high energy prices.  Considering the damage done to the economy by those two factors, it is quite encouraging that the economy has been doing as well as it has been.  If those problems are dealt with in a timely manner, the economy should rebound to doing moderately well again.

That said, whether the correct medicine for those problems can be found in a timely manner is a difficult question, and one I'm not certain will be answered favorably.  If it isn't, we're in for a bad recession that lasts a couple of years at least.  The economic ship hasn't sunk, but we need to get the bilge pumps working and hope we don't run into another storm.
16739  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: possible at all? on: September 22, 2008, 06:33:25 pm
No way that McCain takes all of NH, NM, NV, OH, and PA while losing IN.  He might be able to take any of those depending on where he concentrates his effort and where he gets lucky, but if he does poorly enough in Indiana to lose it, he can't at the same time do well enough in those five States as to take all of them.
16740  Questions and Answers / Presidential Election Process / Re: Is there any plausible argument in favor of the electoral college? on: September 22, 2008, 06:09:08 pm
The primary advantage of the electoral college is that in the event of a recount, the recount is held only in the States that are close.

But is that much of an advantage? And if so, how?

Is the argument that the number of ballots would be so large as to make a national recount impractical? If so, I can't understand the focus on re-counts--surely the first count is no different in that respect. But whatever the case may be, the assertion certainly isn't obvious, and no evidence has been offered to substantiate it.

A recount of the entire country wouldn't be any harder to do than a recount in one state, since you'd have more election workers available to assist in the recount.

If we had a uniform national ballot it might not be any harder, tho it would still be more expensive. However, we don't have a uniform national ballot and we are unlikely to even have one.  That means there will be questions that have to be decided at a local level, such as what happened in Florida in 2000, where some of the lawsuits were at the county-level.
16741  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: PPP will release CO tomorrow and the leading candidate is ... on: September 22, 2008, 05:22:37 pm
Hardly Palin's fault that Wall Street's chickens chose to come home to rest last week.  I can't see where any of the VP possibilities would have helped McCain with that problem.
16742  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act on: September 21, 2008, 07:42:13 pm
The main thing that G-L-B did that affected what has happened is that it made explicit that swap agreements were to be largely exempt from securities regulation.  That led to a lack of transparency that has exacerbated the situation, as it has made it likelier for the collapse of one financial institution to weaken others because of uncertainty over exposure to swaps that the failed institution was involved in.
16743  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Mark Sanford on: September 21, 2008, 06:42:22 pm
Sanford hasn't accomplished much in his six years as governor, despite having a Republican General Assembly.  That's largely because he's been more interested in being a libertarian Don Quixote than making compromises to accomplish anything.  That libertarian tilting has attracted some interest, but its not enough to win a Republican presidential nomination, and he was smart enough to realize it.

He was regarded as a possible running mate, but the strengths he could have brought largely overlapped those that McCain himself possessed and that Palin reinforced, but unlike Palin, he certainly has no wow factor.

Sanford may end up being a cabinet secretary in a future Republican administration, but he's basically done running for elective office for now.  He's term limited as governor, and running for any other office would require him to run against a Republican incumbent in a primary battle.
16744  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: Rasmussen South Carolina: McCain by 6 on: September 21, 2008, 06:17:26 pm
What remaining Dixiecrat vote?
16745  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: McCain campaign revs up operations in North Carolina. on: September 20, 2008, 11:49:31 pm
Thing is, with the Senate and the Gubernatorial races reasonably close, campaigning in the Tar Heel state will be a twofer or a threefer.  Can't say that of every State.
16746  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Bush uses his sh**tty economy as excuse for massive power-grab on: September 20, 2008, 09:05:34 pm
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

Another sh**tty extreme right bill that will probably pass the "Democratic" Congress.

Its not an extreme right bill.  This sort of language is fairly common in existing law.  It doesn't prevent the law itself from being challenged.  What it does do is prevent the courts being used to second guess administrative decisions about which mortgages to buy.  The various anti-fraud statutes still apply in case someone does something crooked.
16747  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: Should Federal judges need a 2/3 majority to be confirmed? on: September 20, 2008, 08:49:32 pm
No.  About the only constitutional change I would make to the Federal judiciary is to make the power to overturn Federal and State laws explicit, while at the same time requiring a supermajority (either 3/5 or 2/3, which is equivalent with 9 justices, but not for other numbers) to do that overturning.  The court has generally been good about finding supermajorities on contentious issues, but not always, and I'm leery of having a 5-4 decision of unelected justices strike down legislative actions.
16748  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: The Democrats in 1984, why Mondale? on: September 20, 2008, 06:29:01 pm
Don't forget 1980.  They tried to dump Carter then because he wasn't liberal enough, and almost succeeded.  Even if they thought Mondale wouldn't win, the Democratic wing of the Democratic party was likely hoping he'd be able to sow the seeds of a liberal resurgence in 1988.  Still, I doubt they expected the disaster they got.

Here's 1984 with a 15% swing in the margin, he still loses badly:

A 19% swing is needed to eke out a narrow victory, carrying Michigan by less than a thousand votes:

(In a PV tie with uniform swing, Reagan still takes Ohio and Michigan for an apparent 306 EV mandate.)
16749  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: I was just polled by Zogby Interactive. on: September 20, 2008, 03:59:29 pm
Just keep in mind the following: It wasn't your fault, it was Zogby's.
16750  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: Rasmussen South Carolina: McCain by 6 on: September 20, 2008, 01:35:16 pm
About as I 'd expect.   The sole reason I have SC as a Lean instead of Strong is that the margin will be in the 5 to 10% range, but I don't expect the campaign to change that one way or the other.  Too few swing voters, especially with the current candidates.
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