Balkinization  

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Sprint to the Finish

Gerard N. Magliocca

The polls coming out of the Democratic National Convention show that the empty chair is in the lead.  (It helps to have four legs.)  I don't find this surprising. As readers of the blog know, I think that 2008 marked a realignment at the presidential level and that President Obama will win a second term because both conclusions are supported by my research on the "constitutional cycle."  If Mitt Romney wins, that would be a sharp break with the historical pattern.  (Doesn't mean it cannot happen, of course.  I'm just saying it's unlikely.)

In this context, consider the following fact.  If President Obama wins with more than 50% of the vote in November, he will be only the third Democrat since 1828 to win a majority of the national popular vote twice.  The other two are Franklin Roosevelt and Andrew Jackson.  I submit that this would be a pretty big deal--those guys are on our money.  Moreover, both of those Presidents were followed in office by someone from their party (Truman and Van Buren), which implies something about 2016.

In retrospect, we may well conclude that the election was decided the day that the Chief Justice decided to uphold the Affordable Care Act.  


 

Comments:

"both of those Presidents were followed in office by someone from their party (Truman and Van Buren), which implies something about 2016."

no, it actually doesn't.
 

1828? Jackson won a plurality in 1824. As to precedent, maybe, but Truman was a sitting President (special case), so precedent was against Bush41 -- Van Buren was the last VP who won on his own.
 

Jackson won a popular majority in 1828 and 1832.

Andrew--sure it implies something. A strong performance for a party in two successive presidential elections gives its candidate an advantage in the third one. That doesn't mean, of course, that the incumbent party will win a third time.
 

"since 1828 to win a majority of the national popular vote twice"

Since he won it "once" in 1828, I think "since 1832" is less misleading. Unless you are saying the party officially began in 1828.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Gerard:

I think that 2008 marked a realignment at the presidential level and that President Obama will win a second term because both conclusions are supported by my research on the "constitutional cycle."

Realignment?

You may want to consider these electoral facts of life before reminding folks of your prior prediction.

1) No presidential realignment in American history has been followed two years later by a once in a century wave election like 2010 losing the center and wiping out the president's party at all levels of government.

2) Realigning presidents also do not lose the center of the electorate as Mr. Obama has. Both GOP and Democrat leaning polling show that Independents disapprove of Obama by high single to low double digits and favor Romney by the same amount. In contrast, Obama won Independents by 6% in 2008.

3) Presidential reelection campaigns are always referendums and the incumbent generally only gets the votes of those who approve of him and often not all of those. Voter approval of Obama has been below 50% since early 2010 and completely underwater in states worth 328 electoral votes.

4) In case you are pinning your hopes on Obama ties or narrow leads in the mid 40s in horserace polls, the 6% to 10% undecided in those polls appear to be predominantly white, male, conservative, Republican and Independent, married and church going folks who disapprove of and are at least considering firing the president.

5) In case you are also pinning your hope on the Obama mini-convention bounce, please note that all recent incumbent presidents of both parties received 3% to 13% fewer actual votes than their polling high water marks after their conventions.

6) Indeed, the only realignment during the Obama administration appears to be driving the white working class foundation of the FDR coalition out of the Democratic Party.

In sum, all of the traditional electoral measures are showing Mr. Obama gaining around 47% or less of the vote in November.

Not quite the realignment you were predicting.
 

These poll numbers are great news for John McCain!!
 

"Voter approval of Obama has been below 50% since early 2010"

I don't think that statement is correct.

"Currently, 52% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president's job performance. That matches yesterday’s total as his highest approval rating in more than a year-and-a-half, since January 2011.

Forty-seven percent (47%) at least somewhat disapprove"

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll
 

Bart,

I look forward to hearing your explanation when the President is reelected. If he loses, I will be here on the day after the election to eat crow.
 

If Obama wins Baghdad Bart will claim he did not predict a Romney win, he was just relentlessly quoting stats that would predict a Romney win. Big difference.
 

Gerard:

It's a date.

I suppose there could be an October surprise along the lines of Romney being caught with the proverbial live boy or dead woman, but time has just about run out and I do not see any of the fundamentals changing apart from the economy sliding even deeper into depression. Manufacturing has been contracting for three months now and inventories are still piling up.
 

BD: "Voter approval of Obama has been below 50% since early 2010"

Mr. W: I don't think that statement is correct.


Please follow my links.

I use the Gallup quarterly approval averages which smooth out the daily polling noise like the already receding approval bump Obama apparently got on Friday or Saturday after his convention which you noted.

On the quarterly averages, adult (not the more conservative cohort of likely voters) approval of Obama has been mired in the mid 40s for years now. I doubt that this will change over the next two months.
 

BB:

I started predicting the Obama loss a couple months ago when his barrage of negative ads against Romney failed to move the polling and the country started to slide deeper into recession.

If I am wrong, I (and the country) have far worse things to worry about than my eating crow here. America simply cannot continue to ride the PIIGS express for another administration.
 

It's odd that you were not this concerned when Cheney/Bush (remember them?) were driving the country off a cliff.

In any case, it's good to see that you're not leaving any room to weasel out of this prediction.
 

By the way, it's adorable that you think Mittens is a mortal lock even though he's been behind in the polling for months.
 

Must be how he makes the big money on Intrade.
 

I am not convinced 2008 this was a "realigning" election in the V.O. Key/W.D. Burnham sense. Republicans still refer to Reagan as inspiration (i.e., Ronaldus Magnus has not yet been repudiated). Obama has not offered transformational policies, with the notable exception of health care; rather, his is the reification of technique: he promises to make the existing system more functional. He has been very weak on financial reform: yes we have the CFPC and Dodd-Frank, but there were no prosecutions of major perpetrators of the financial meltdown, Dodd-Frank was fairly weak tea, the SEC does not have the capacity to monitor High Frequency Trading (or other modern innovations), and the leaders in Treasury, the Fed, and regulatory agencies are largely associated with the prior deregulatory regime. Another financial meltdown will be a constant concern moving forward.

As far as shifts in voter preferences, it has been minimal: no major groups are different now than they were in 2004. What is different is a gradual demographic shift to groups that tend to favor Democrats, particularly Hispanics.

The strongest argument for a realignment would be a voter shift away from the Republican Party due to its radicalization. We have yet to see that happen. Mitt Romney hopes to obfuscate that his party is that radical. I cannot predict the future, and do know if Republican radicalization will become sufficiently salient among the key electoral groups, and whether it will become thoroughly repudiated.

Just a thought.
 

I'm inclined to agree with Chausovsky. Obama ia more in the mold of Cleveland than FDR. A realignment is still very possible, but if it happens it will be different than the other ones.
 

Mr. De Palma must have a very selective data set he's drawing these strong opinions from. Meanwhile the two most prominent polling prognosticators (Silver and Wang) are giving Obama a better than 8 in 10 chance of securing a electoral college victory.

Of course, this doesn't prove he's wrong -- after all, there IS almost a 2 in 10 chance Romney pulls this off. But it does suggest that the re-alignment thesis will have more evidence to support it despite Bart's nay-saying.


 

Seth:

Must have a very selective data? I am using standard electoral data points. You are welcome to follow my multiple links to review them.

Meanwhile the two most prominent polling prognosticators (Silver and Wang) are giving Obama a better than 8 in 10 chance of securing a electoral college victory.

For the uninitiated, Nate Silver is a statistician turned electoral prognosticator who favors elaborate models based on polling regressions. Nate's claim to fame (and ticket to a paying gig writing a NY Times blog) was a good, but not great, prediction of the 2008 results. Not so much recently. In 2010, Nate was predicting the Dems had a substantial chance of keeping the House and underestimated the GOP gains by half. For 2012, Nate has created a black box model combining economic stats and polling which he has yet to disclose. And as in 2010, Nate's current predictions are far more favorable to the Democrats than standard electoral data would suggest. I post at Nate's blog regularly.

Wang averages state level polling to make predictions of the electoral vote outcome. The model is held hostage to the quality of the polling at the time and to date is corrupted by media polls with often gross overcounts of Democrat and undercounts of GOP registered rather than likely voters. Also, for some reason, the pollsters are conducting far fewer surveys this cycle than in 2008. The Wang model will get better once the pollsters erect their likely voter screens and then make their partisan weightings reflect something close to reality.
 

Bart

I think you've noted some interesting data points. For example, Obama's approval ratings are below most modern incumbents that were re-elected (though rather close to W Bush's), and that has been a good predictor in the past.

But how do you explain Obama being ahead, both nationally and electorally, according to nearly every major polling agency (including Rassmussen, which I doubt is leaning Democratic)?
 

Yes, the polls right now are fairly worthless, except as a guide to whose camp the particular pollster is trying to get work from. As the election gets closer, they'll tighten up their procedures so as to generate more legitimate results, and avoid being too badly embarrassed by the gap between poll and election.
 

Mr. Wiskas, Rasmussen quite rightly describes the Obama lead in tracking polls right now as a convention bounce. Somewhat bigger than Romney got, of course, but you have to expect that with most of the media outlets so deep in the tank they're risking nitrogen narcosis.

The question is, how long it's going to last. I really have no idea. It looks like Romney might have more money to spend than Obama, but Obama does get those 'in kind' media contributions, and they're worth a huge sum.
 

It's comical to hear wingnuts whining about the media not liking them. Yes, I'm sure the big media conglomerate boardrooms are packed with Dems.
 

Brett's claim:

" ... but t Obama does get those 'in kind' media contributions, and they're worth a huge sum."

can be proved/quantified? Like enumerating "those 'in kind' media contributions (including identifying the contributors) and placing values on them? Or is this another Brettism pulled from his derriere?
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Mr. Whiskas:

But how do you explain Obama being ahead, both nationally and electorally, according to nearly every major polling agency (including Rassmussen, which I doubt is leaning Democratic)?

Currently, Mr. Obama is enjoying a post convention bounce of fairly standard magnitude.

Before the conventions, Romney was tied or slightly ahead in the handful of likely voter polls with between 6% and 10% undecided.

Obama appears to have mobilized his core and they make up most of his current support.

Romney has a more unusual mix for a GOP contender - part of the conservative GOP base and a heavy lead among independents.

The undecided are not the mushy middle of prior elections. Rather, they appear to be predominantly white male conservatives who massively disapprove of Obama, but do not look upon Romney favorably. There is a real interesting sub-group of male hispanics who appear to be having second thoughts about Obama. Other polls suggest that male hispanics disapprove of Obama at the same levels as white women.

This suggests that there are a sizable cadre of conservatives who will be voting not for Romney, but against Obama when they break in October.

For the first time, The Hill's A.B. Stoddard reported tonight that her sources in the Romney campaign say their campaign is predicated on the undecided breaking for them like they did for Reagan in 1980 and Clinton in 1992. I believe Romney chose Ryan to appeal to those undecided conservatives.

 

Bart

Rassmussen currently has Obama with 247 and Romney with 196 electoral votes, with 95 toss-ups.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/election_2012

 

Brett

I have a hard time finding that the same media that spent so much time about the silly 'taking God and Jerusalem out of the platform' story was that in the tank for the Dems.
 

I believe Romney chose Ryan to appeal to those undecided conservatives.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 9:46 PM


Baghdad, if Romney needs Ryan to capture the math/logic/reality challenged wingnut crowd, he is fucked. Period.
 

"can be proved/quantified? Like enumerating "those 'in kind' media contributions (including identifying the contributors) and placing values on them? Or is this another Brettism pulled from his derriere?"

Shag, you want an example, look at the way NBC cut away from the Republican convention every time a non-white speaker talked, in order to present the illusion of a lily white party. You literally can't buy that sort of thing, but if the media are in the tank for you, they'll give it away.
 

Mr. Wiskas, an in the tank media faces something of a conundrum when deciding whether to report on internal dissent within the Democratic party. It's not like refusing to cover any non-white speakers at the GOP convention; There aren't any Democratic party factions who want black Republicans to be seen on TV, so the in-the-tank response is fairly easy to determine.

The questions of whether "God" is to be mentioned in the platform, or whether to acknowledge where the capitol of Israel is, are matters with significant factions on both sides in the Democratic party. (You heard the voice vote, too, right? Two thirds my eye!) Sure, the media are in the tank, but which faction are they in the tank to? How are they supposed to decide what to suppress?

"In-the-tank" only really matters on subjects where the party is fairly unified. Where there's real division, the tank is going to be divided, too.
 

Brett provides what he considers an example that merely displays his paranoia with demographic changes. Perhaps Brett with his science/engineering training might compare Fox's activities over the years, especially in its coverages during Bush/Cheney and Obama Administrations, as well as Rush et al on talk radio, for media perspective. Brett provides the example of NBC. But both conventions were covered by CBS, ABC, PBS (in longer time periods), Fox, CNN, MSNBC ad nauseum (of both conventions).

Brett engages in simpletonian cherry-picking once again, searching through the woodpile for ....
 

Brett

The God and Jerusalem thing was a total creation of conservative bloggers. That the major networks picked it up and ran with it as much as they did showed how the 'liberal MSM' is anything but.

As to the speakers covered at the GOP convention, the bigger the name of the speaker and slot the more coverage they get. I saw Rice covered quite thoroughly, for example
 

Mr. Whiska's:

" I saw Rice covered quite thoroughly, for example"

in response to Brett may give Brett pause to reflect on the expression "like white on rice." Apparently Brett wanted some beans to reflect the fictional diversity of the GOP convention.
 

Shag, you want an example, look at the way NBC cut away from the Republican convention every time a non-white speaker talked, in order to present the illusion of a lily white party. You literally can't buy that sort of thing, but if the media are in the tank for you, they'll give it away.
# posted by Brett : 6:44 AM


hahahahahahaha

Brett, they don't have to cut away from the speakers to give the impression that the GOP is lily white, they just have to show the crowd. Is showing the crowd biased?
 

Shag, you want an example, look at the way NBC cut away from the Republican convention every time a non-white speaker talked, in order to present the illusion of a lily white party. You literally can't buy that sort of thing, but if the media are in the tank for you, they'll give it away.
# posted by Brett : 6:44 AM


This is really funny as hell. I always thought that you were a paranoid nutcase, but I didn't realize that it was this bad.
 

Perhaps Shag and others would be interested in an interesting new article in Democracy that is cited here:

http://www.acslaw.org/acsblog/changing-corporate-governance-not-constitution-is-the-way-to-counter-%E2%80%98citizens-united%E2%80%99-law-p

Off topic, perhaps. Anyway, MF repeats his Cleveland comparison. Does this mean Obama will lose and win in 2016? I jest. Like in sports, one should not really look ahead (e.g., the Redskins rookie QB upset last Sunday) but that looks like an intriguing election.

I have hopes for the Jon Huntsman wing of the party but then his endorsement of Romney, who he makes clear he thinks is leading a lousy effort (didn't even show up at the convention, not that they wanted him) shows how hard it is for partisans to resist going along.

Another interesting thing ... the electoral map found at Talking Points Memo has Romney "favored" in Texas. That is, Texas is not like a total lock. He's +7. (Obama is +5 in NM, to compare). Wonder how Gary Johnson is doing there.
 

It's almost as if Brett is upset that the networks didn't act as an uncritical recording of the GOP's carefully orchestrated line up of minor slot minority speakers aimed at countering the fact that the party's base is increasingly white...And wasn't Brett opposed to affirmative action the other day?
 

The link provided by Joe is most interesting. During my legal career that started in 1954, I gravitated from a general practice to corporate, tax, real property, securities, antitrust, having had the good luck to represent an entrepreneur whom I represented from just about day one of his establishment of a one-man business that grew fairly quickly and well, eventually going public, which I served as general counsel, clerk/secretary, director, during almost its entire existence before being acquired by a Dow 30 firm. I got a lot of help from the various sections of the ABA with its great publications over those years. The corporation was considered to have multiple stakeholders, not limited to stockholders, officers, directors, including customers and the public. This changed over time, accommodated by Delaware corporate law, such that even stockholders could be squeezed, accounting for the income disparity making CEOs rock stars financially.

As the article Joe linked to notes, the battle should be at the corporate law levels. This can be accomplished by restoring public corporation mission statements of yore instead of the Ayn Rand influence on Delaware corporate law and deregulation of federal securities laws, to recognize ALL of the stakeholders' interests. This is part of the income/asset inequality problem cogently addressed by Nobel Lauriate (Economics) Joseph Stiglitz.
 

Mr. W:

Brett is correct that MSNBC switched away from all speeches delivered by the myriad of GOP Hispanic and African American elected officials and candidates.

CNN was not as bad.

You had to go to C-SPAN and Fox to see the speeches.

This was almost certainly intentional.

Brett is not requesting any sort of affirmative action, but rather that the Democrat media report all of the RNC as presented instead of engaging in Democrat serving censorship.

 

Our yodeler, by saying:

"Brett is correct that MSNBC ...."

is like Dick Cheney saying that George W. was correct about WMDs, etc, to justify invading Iraq.

I wonder if Brett is thrilled with having our yodeler as a character witness.
 

Brett is not requesting any sort of affirmative action, but rather that the Democrat media report all of the RNC as presented instead of engaging in Democrat serving censorship.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 1:04 PM


Numbnuts, no one said that Brett was requesting affirmative action. What he pointed out is that all the black and hispanic speakers at the RNC was an example of affirmative action.
 

Shag:

You are of course welcome to show a single instance where MSNBC televised the speech of a Hispanic or African American elected official or candidate at the RNC. The fact that they did not is not open to dispute. The only question is why they engaged in the censorship.

BB:

What GOP affirmative action? These were all elected nominees or representatives.

Our bench of elected Hispanic and other minority governors and federal representatives is far more impressive than the Democrats, who could only offer a couple mayors in response.
 

What GOP affirmative action? These were all elected nominees or representatives.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 1:42 PM


But not representative of the GOP's demographics. Not even close. And that means you gave jobs to minorities for which there were almost certainly better qualified whites. Why didn't Dumbya or Cheney speak? They're certainly more qualified than most of the African American and Hispanic speakers. Affirmative action.
 

"But not representative of the GOP's demographics"

Indeed, not representative of the GOP elected officials across the nation at all. It's almost as if some minority officials were given a preference because the GOP thought they would better with diverse demographics they were trying to reach. Now where have we heard of that before ;)?
 

Bart

First of all, Brett said NBC, not MSNBC, different beasts.

"rather that the Democrat media report all of the RNC as presented"

The networks didn't cover the DNC 'as presented' either. They cut away from many speakers. The networks may cover the conventions because they are newsworthy events but they don't have to, and should not, simply broadcast three hour commercials as staged by either party.

"You are of course welcome to show a single instance where MSNBC televised the speech of a Hispanic or African American elected official or candidate at the RNC"

They didn't televise Rice and Rubio?
 

Mr. W:

Party conventions are for giving exposure to the party stars on the bench for higher office, especially the ones who have won in states that usually go for the opposing party, energize the base and/or can attract voters who usually cast ballots for the other party.

See one Barack Obama in 2004, who as an unknown quantity got a record number of Dems to the polls while attracting more white voters than any of the previous white presidential candidates since LBJ.

The current crop of Tea Party rock stars are (to borrow a phrase) a rainbow of colors including white (Ryan & Christie), Hispanic (Rubio, Martinez and Cruz), black (Love, Rice and Davis), and even Indian (Jindal and Haley).

We nominated or elected them because they are attractive, well spoken conservatives - not because of their color.

They are getting the spotlight at the RNC because they won, are winning or have deserted the Dems for the GOP (Davis) - not because they meet a carefully calibrated racial or gender quota.
 

The current crop of Tea Party rock stars are (to borrow a phrase) a rainbow of colors
# posted by Bart DePalma : 3:42 PM


hahahahaha

Different shades of white does not a rainbow make.

Boehner may look orange, but he's still white.
 

Bart

Obama got a lot of attention because he gave the Keynote. If you want networks to pay a lot of attention to certain speakers you have to book them high.

But I notice you didn't answer my direct question: Rubio, Rice and Haley were all covered by MSNBC. They were booked high of course.

They may have gotten elected or nominated for the reasons you give, but they were almost certainly given preference because of their appeal to key demographic groups. There are many more GOP elected officials that meet the criteria of winning in key states, being good speakers, etc., and with longer track records of that. I mean, do you expect us to believe the First Lady of Puerto Rico was chosen because of her 'rock star status with the Tea Party?'
 

Mr. W:

I acknowledge your point that MSNBC covered Rice and Rubio.

Rice is not running for anything and MSNBC could not skip Rubio's introduction to the candidate.

I doubt MSNBC even knew that Haley was Indian.

No one else was shown.
 

Seth/Mr. W:

You asked why Obama is tied or leading in the media polls. I just finished a rather lengthy post at my blog discussing pollster game playing by over-counting Democrats and under-counting Republicans and showing how Romney is leading when you use a reasonable historical partisan weighting or the actual percentages of registered voters.
 

No one else was shown.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 5:05 PM


I noticed that Faux News gave the 2 African American guys in the crowd a lot of coverage. That should make up for it.
 

Bart @ 1:04 PM
"Brett is correct that MSNBC switched away from ALL [emphasis mine] speeches delivered by the myriad of GOP Hispanic and African American elected officials and candidates."

Bart @ 1:42 PM

"You are of course welcome to show a single instance where MSNBC televised the speech of a Hispanic or African American elected official or candidate at the RNC. The fact that they did not is not open to dispute."

Bart @ 5:05

"I acknowledge your point that MSNBC covered Rice and Rubio."

As most 'liberal MSM bias' memes do, this one seems to flake away a bit as one picks at it...

As to whether preference was shown for diversity's sake (affirmative action) I will note that there were, I think, eleven prime time speakers. Two of them were two of the four women GOP governors (there are 29 GOP governors), one was the only GOP Hispanic governor, and one was the only GOP Hispanic Senator, and one was oddly enough the Hispanic wife of a GOP affiliated governor of a territory. You still want to argue there was not very likely a preference given to Hispanic and women GOP officials? The odds that the 'rock stars' of the GOP would fall into those small categories rather than the much more numerous white male elected officials is fairly incredible...
 

BB: These poll numbers are great news for John McCain!!

Unbelievable comment. The Interwebs should give awards for this kind of craft.
 

PMS and BB remind me of Bush/Cheney failings of their eight (8) years without actually mentioning Bush or Cheney, but by referencing John McCain in 2008. I admit I had to do a lot of stretching and reading between the lines of their ever so brief comments to arrive at this. But this morning at the NYTimes website, I read Ross Dou[b]that's "The Elephant in the Room" post, that may reflect Gerard's post and the comments that have followed. Dou[b]that [I can't resist the insertion of the letter "b"] tries to make some lemonade out of "R-MONEY/R-AYN 2012", but provides very little sugar as he puckers up to reality on the role of Bush/Cheney in the current presidential campaign.

[Note: I'm not sure if Dou[b]that's post appears in NYTimes hard copy.]
 

BB: These poll numbers are great news for John McCain!!

Unbelievable comment. The Interwebs should give awards for this kind of craft.
# posted by PMS_CC : 1:59 AM


I can't take credit. That was Baghdad Bart's response to the early exit polls in 2008.
 

BB is too modest. For some mirthful nostalgia, Google:


These poll numbers are great news for John McCain!! + Bartbuster

Also, since my comment on Ross Dou[b]that's post at the NYTimes website, Paul Krugman has a new post at his Conscience of a Liberal: "Economic Fundamentals and the Election" with interesting comparatives on Reagan and Obama in Ohio on unemployment.

 

BB is actually right about this one. The initial exit poll leaks in the afternoon of the 2008 election day did look good for McCain and I posted a comment to that effect.

The rest of the day was not so good.

Why BB is fixated on that one comment among my many thousands, I have no clue.
 

Shag:

There is a rather significant difference between the Reagan and the Obama economies which Krugman intentionally omits:

The Reagan unemployment numbers were falling because the GDP was growing by around 8% and businesses were adding up to a million jobs per month with a substantially smaller population.

The Obama unemployment numbers are falling because several million long term unemployed have fallen completely out of the labor force and are no longer counted, with the Obama administration putting over 3 million of them onto the SSI dole as "disabled." The Obama economy is not producing enough jobs for the new young entrants into the work force nevertheless to put the unemployed back to work.

Perhaps, Krugman and also Obama are hoping that we will simply ignore our unemployed neighbors living in poverty with extended family or on the streets.
 

Why BB is fixated on that one comment among my many thousands, I have no clue.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 10:10 AM


Because it nicely sums up your unique ability to focus in on a single fact that might support your views, while remaining completely oblivious to the rest of the overwhelming evidence that makes it clear that you are utterly wrong.

 

Our yodeler reminds us that while he minored in economics, he is more qualified than Nobel Laureate (Economics) Paul Krugman on the subject.

Perhaps our yodeler as a compassionate libertarian neocon is doing his part unlike:

"Perhaps, Krugman and also Obama are hoping that we will simply ignore our unemployed neighbors living in poverty with extended family or on the streets."

NOT to ignore his unemployed neighbors living in poverty with extended family or on the streets in his hilltop Eden. Our yodeler has almost as big a heart as "R-MONEY/R-AYN 2012".

 

Shag:

Most semi cognizant human beings with even a passing acquaintance with macro economics can see when Krugman is offering partisan propaganda, which is roughly 95% of the time. Krugman's NYT op-eds are target rich environments for correction.

BTW, Krugman won his nobel for some rather good work on international trade and has done zero academic work on macro-economics. His opinions on macro economics would comfortably fit in the French socialist party.
 

Shag:

"Our yodeler has almost as big a heart as "R-MONEY/R-AYN 2012".

Not quite.

Romney has done an amazing amount of charitable work and made hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable contributions.

You may (as I do) disagree with some of Romney's policies, but his heart is beyond reproach.
 

"made hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable contributions."

I think 80% of his charitable contributions have been to his church.

http://www.businessinsider.com/mitt-romneys-charitable-donations-mormon-church-2012-7

It also appears that the Obamas may have an even more reproachable heart than the Romneys in that they may give a higher % of their income to charities...

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/17/news/la-pn-romney-obama-tax-charity-20120816
 

Mr. W:

I disagree with Mr. Obama's policies, but do not stoop to attacking his generosity or heart.

I believe Obama donated the receipts from a book to charity. Bravo!
 

But no one said anything about Mr Romney's generosity or heart. The topic at hand is the money he gives his church. That turns out to involve things other than generosity or heart. As one Mormon put it:

Outsiders are so impressed with members paying 10% of the income to "charity".

How can it be charity when you have to pay it in order to receive the saving ordinances of salvation and live with your family forever?

With those stakes, it hardly sounds voluntary or charitable.

ref

What this means, for instance, is that Mr. Romney's church will exclude his kids from temple weddings if his tithing isn't up to date. And Mr. Romney's church teaches its followers that without a temple wedding, they won't be together in the hereafter. Under these circumstances it's not pure "generosity" that's at issue.

Then we come to heart. "The Mormon Church donates only about 0.7 percent of its annual income to charity; the United Methodist Church gives about 29 percent" Business Week The entire article is worth reading. The money isn't all about heart.

So while Mr. Romney likes to pretend his giving to his church is charity, it's charitable definitely in the sense it lowers his taxes; in other senses, not so much.
 

Does our yodeler claim to speak for:

"Most semi cognizant human beings with even a passing acquaintance with macro economics [who] can see when Krugman is offering partisan propaganda, which is roughly 95% of the time."

whoever they are? But most fully cognizant human beings well trained in macro agree with Nobel Laureate (Economics) Paul Krugman.

Also, our yodeler seems to be an insider - perhaps R-ROMNEY's tax preparer? - regarding the latter's charitable contributions. But this is where Reagan's "trust but verify" comes into play. So why won't R-MONEY disclose his tax returns to the extent his dad did? We could all check on the tithing if he did so.

Our yodeler's:

"I disagree with Mr. Obama's policies, but do not stoop to attacking his generosity or heart."

But just go through this Blog's archives, even at random, to see how low our yodeler has stooped in attacking Obama from the git-go.

And our yodeler's:

"I believe Obama donated the receipts from a book to charity. Bravo!"

might have inspired our yodeler to emulate Obama, assuming there were any receipts to donate from his vile screed "I hate Obama." Bravo!
 

JPK:

Shag started this exchange with a shot at Romney, Ryan and my heart. Now you are taking a shot at the Mormons.

The Mormons act as a collective and use most of their their resources to take care of their own because the faith was under attack for years. Yes, this is charity.

 

The Mormons act as a collective and use most of their their resources to take care of their own

# posted by Bart DePalma : 3:19 PM


It sounds like you're voting for a socialist.
 

Our yodeler's response to jpk:

"Shag started this exchange with a shot at Romney, Ryan and my heart. Now you are taking a shot at the Mormons."

Either or both of the "R-MONEY/R-AYN 2012" GOP ticket are like the Wizard of Oz's Tin Man. I could have been more explicit. But consider the R-AYN budget as well as R-MONEY's proposed budget, which give "heart" to the 1% and a heart attack to the 99%. And the poor - who are lazy and shiftless - lose their safety nets. Both of their budgets stress the individual. Catholic Bishops and Nuns have castigated R-AYN for his budget's Catholic failures. While our yodeler refers to:

"The Mormons act as a collective and use most of their their resources to take care of their own because the faith was under attack for years. Yes, this is charity." (By the way, our yodeler does not refute what jpk said about the Mormons.)

Catholics had also been under attack in America but they shared with people of other faiths and some were abolitionists - unlike Mormons, who of course have their plates of gold.

There is serious question even among conservatives (who may be shrugging) whether R-MONEY completed a "Hail Mary" pass with his selection of R-AYN.
 

Now you are taking a shot at the Mormons.

Hahahahaha!

Do your strawmen impress the judge? Do they get your drunk driver clients off the hook?

Or is it just the old adage, when the facts and the law are against you, make an ad hominem attack.

I note your complete lack of response to any fact I presented. I am of course not surprised.

Of course no one is attacking the Mormons. I merely brought up some facts inconvenient to those who pretend that Romney's cash to his church constitutes charity and is an unadulterated act of his generosity and heart.
 

BB:

It sounds like you're voting for a socialist.

You voluntarily join a church and engage in charity.

Socialists involuntarily take your money and direct your business under threat of armed force.

Big difference.
 

jpk:

Are you claiming you were not taking a shot at Mormons by claiming that the contributions they make to their church are not charity?
 

It sounds like you're voting for a socialist.

You voluntarily join a church and engage in charity.

Socialists involuntarily take your money and direct your business under threat of armed force.

Big difference.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 4:53 PM


No difference at all. No one forces you to stay in the US any more than you are forced to stay in an organized religion.

You're voting for a socialist.
 

"Are you claiming you were not taking a shot at Mormons by claiming that the contributions they make to their church are not charity?"

I can't speak for him, but I don't think a person who considers contribution to a church one is a member of as something other than charity is necessarily taking a shot at that or any other church. Also, do you have any reference for the claim that the CLDS uses most of their resources to take care of their own as opposed to using it to build and maintain churches, support missions, pay clergy and staff, etc?
 

the Mormons act as a collective and use most of their their resources to take care of their own

A little fact checking on that:

not so much

funding for the needy doesn't come out of tithes

funding for the needy comes out of "fast offerings"

So I think a more accurate statement would be members help members quite a bit, but the Church helps members not so much.

The Church is very good at extracting money from its members, including both tithing and other streams. Most of the money, including all of the tithing, goes to "headquarters". Some of the rest helps needy members.

So Mr. Romney's tithing doesn't do much to "take care of their own".

Nor does it go to charity, as that word is generally understood.
 


Are you claiming you were not taking a shot at Mormons by claiming that the contributions they make to their church are not charity?


HAHAHAHAHA!

Do these word games get your drunk drivers out of jail?

I don't have to respond to a straw man.

I don't have to pretend that this church and its members are one and the same.

You will just have to dance with your imaginary creations all by yourself.

I once again note, and once again without surprise, that you fail to respond to a single fact I present.

How sad for you that bashing other people is no substitute.
 

Granted I'm relatively new to this blog, but as a fellow liberal I should say I think many of the responses to Bart and Brett are, in my opinion, too nasty. Both of them make good points at times, and while they may be wrong and very partisan at times (those two things often go together I think), one can point that out and be polite.
 

After listening to their dishonest bullshit for a few years you'll begin to understand the hatred.
 

Mr. W:

Also, do you have any reference for the claim that the CLDS uses most of their resources to take care of their own as opposed to using it to build and maintain churches, support missions, pay clergy and staff, etc?

Start with jpk's linked Business Week Article.

The Mormons do far more than proselytize. They are very much like the Chinese and Koreans in that they personally and financially help fellow Mormons get educations, get jobs, create businesses and support in times of need.

I have a Mormon colleague who runs a law firm in our town. We send cases to one another frequently. He fell ill with a cancer and the church was there to support his family and his business during his treatment.

Yes, what they do is charity.
 

Yes, yes, that's what "they" do.

The distinction that obliterates, of course, is members versus Church.

Romney's tithing to his Church, does it pay for educations? Create businesses? Support fellow Mormons in times of need?

Anyone who read the references I provided knows the answer: no. That's not where that money goes.

But do please believe "they" do things for "them". It's so conveniently vague. Do please conflate Church with members.

And don't forget to ignore facts, and bash people who bring up inconvenient facts. Go for it!
 

Also, do you have any reference for the claim that the CLDS uses most of their resources to take care of their own as opposed to using it to build and maintain churches, support missions, pay clergy and staff, etc?

Start with jpk's linked Business Week Article.


Yes, please do. Try to find a sentence in there that supports the claim here.

You're also welcome to peruse the other references I provided.

Or you could cut to the chase: from "these polling numbers are great for McCcain" to "MSNBC didn't televise the speech of a Hispanic or African American elected official or candidate at the RNC" to "the Business Week article validates my claims, in some way I can't cite right now!"...yes, there's a pattern here.
 

Our yodeler must have been diverted from responding to this in an earlier comment by me:

*****

And our yodeler's:

"I believe Obama donated the receipts from a book to charity. Bravo!"

might have inspired our yodeler to emulate Obama, assuming there were any receipts to donate from his vile screed "I hate Obama." Bravo!

******

Perhaps on a personal basis, heart does not equal charity for our yodeler. But why not compare R-MONEY's charitable heart to Bill Gates' charitable heart?
 

What does it mean to have heart? Is having heart limited to charitable giving, including to one's religion? Having heart can include empathy and acts of empathy that do not result in charitable deductions that qualify for tax purposes.

It was our yodeler who introduced religion into this thread, perhaps as a straw-woman, to divert the political policies of "R-MONEY/R-AYN 2012" that demonstrate a lack of having heart.

Should religion be off limits in a political campaign? Those interested might check some recent posts on the subject at PrawfsBlawg and the comments they produced (including mine).

Perhaps our yodeler might remember a song from yesteryear, "You've Got to Have Heart" from the musical "Damn Yankees" and join in a chorus instead of his attempted diversion. And perhaps our yodeler can enumerate the political policies of "R-MONEY/R-AYN 2012" that have heart .
 

might have inspired our yodeler to emulate Obama, assuming there were any receipts to donate from his vile screed "I hate Obama." Bravo!
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Mexican Mitt seems to sprinting to the finish with his head up his ass. It can't be easy to run that way.
 

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You need to smart dog carrier decision puppie's brand commonly, to make sure he or she works that will partner this by means of bearing in mind a person. Utilize the designate often, specially while in the first of all years in the house; the puppy must relate his / her title having focusing on you will. Find a new puppy label that will appears specially dog leashes as compared to plain english your pet dog may perhaps perceive each day.
 

Recent analysis
confirms Romney's church spends very little of its tithing on charity, spends far more on for-profit enterprises, and hides its finances as much as it can.

In this it is much like Romney.
 

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