Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to John Castino, 58. Because I liked his APBA card one year.

Just a little good stuff:

1. I generally like Steve Kornacki's argument about rewarding or punishing the GOP for how it's acted in the last few years, but I think it's probably too late: the 2010 landslide was more than sufficient to insure that Republicans will emulate 1993 and 2009 next time the Democrats win the presidency.

2. Nate Silver's debate wrap. Also one from Hans Noel about "winning" debates.

3. And Maria Konnikova on watching (debates) while tweeting. I guess my reaction would be: if you really want to do serious analysis of policy positions, you're going to wait and go back over the transcript carefully anyway. So you might as well tweet while it's going on.


  1. I guess it shouldn't surprise me that you play(ed) APBA. Lots of good memories playing it with my dad.

  2. That Kornacki article is hair-raising. But you make a good point... they've already been rewarded and their base has already learned that all-out opposition > working with Democrats.

    But I also think you've made the point before that, since there is no Republican policy agenda aside from generally lower taxes on rich people and shifting government spending from the social safety net to the military, a President Romney would arguably have a lot of room to work with a Dem Senate.

    I think you said on Twitter that he could create a similar system to Obamacare, but call it the "Reagan Insurance Exchange" or something. That's a good idea, because then Fox News could focus solely on how Romney is in a weeks long battle with the Senate over whether or not to name it after Reagan and none of the conservative base would have to know that he was essentially implementing Obamacare.

    Of course, that only works if Romney proves to be secretly competent... and there's not much evidence of that so far.

  3. Read Stuff:

    Matt Barreto on the under-counting of the Latino vote.

    1. Wow Zic, interesting read. I had heard about the undercounting of Hispanics in the case of Nevada, but didn't realize the broader significance.

    2. It'll be interesting to see if there's an impact, though it really seems like the good pollsters should be catching Latino voters along with everyone else when they poll. That said, I remember the shock in '10 when the media called Nevada for Reid like ten minutes after the polls closed... for weeks it was supposed to be a very close race!

    3. Actually, this might be part of Silver's observation about cell phone samples favoring Obama.
      The Latino population is actually more likely to be cell-phone only than whites or blacks, and that part of the Latino population that is cell-phone only is younger and poorer (and, presumably, leans more Democratic than other Latinos). So, applying census-based weights for race would be getting the "Latino" vote up to where it should be, but it'd be double-counting a more Republican-leaning Latino group.

      It makes sense.

      Whether it's RIGHT, I don't know.


  5. Somewhat apropos to Kornacki, you know what's odd about Romney's candidacy that no one seems to discuss? Dude's proposing a substantial tax cut that will be revenue neutral as a result of eliminated deductions and closed loopholes.

    Jenny, I may not be a smart man, but I know that a tax cut that is revenue neutral, at prevailing, non-Laffer-friendly rates, is not a tax cut at all, or more accurately, is a tax cut for these guys over here and a tax hike for those other guys over there.

    I was talking to my old friend Walter Mondale the other day, and he reminded me ruefully what a bad idea it is for a major party candidate to run on tax hikes. By virtue of Romney's apparent competitiveness, it would seem that he is not running on a tax hike, so the folks "over there", (whose effective rate will go up via closed loopholes and eliminated deductions) most certainly think they're "over here"; i.e. getting tax relief.

    So Romney's "tax cut" is more accurately labelled a "tax reshuffle", with the proviso that those on the wrong side of the reshuffle don't realize it, and folks being what they are, the losers in the reshuffle are gonna be mad, so they're gonna have to be made whole, which quickly gets all FUBAR and goodbye economic solvency of the good ol US of A.

    To Kornacki's point, why does the faithful GOP suck? To the argument in the paragraph above, they're only interested in the first few words ("Romney's tax cut"). The rest is bad copy for the airwaves. Its not the politicians that are soulless and depraved, its the partisan media, imho.


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