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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
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Tom Tomorrow: Their Own Reality



Daily Kos Link: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/12/1159692/-Their-own-reality?detail=hide

(Bonus Points this week for original Star Trek reference...)

Paul Krugman: "Deficit-Scolds Never Really About Deficit, But About Shredding Social Safety Net"

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/12/opinion/krugman-hawks-and-hypocrites.html

OP-ED COLUMNIST
Hawks and Hypocrites
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: November 11, 2012

Back in 2010, self-styled deficit hawks — better described as deficit scolds — took over much of our political discourse. At a time of mass unemployment and record-low borrowing costs, a time when economic theory said we needed more, not less, deficit spending, the scolds convinced most of our political class that deficits rather than jobs should be our top economic priority. And now that the election is over, they’re trying to pick up where they left off.

They should be told to go away.

It’s not just the fact that the deficit scolds have been wrong about everything so far. Recent events have also demonstrated clearly what was already apparent to careful observers: the deficit-scold movement was never really about the deficit. Instead, it was about using deficit fears to shred the social safety net. And letting that happen wouldn’t just be bad policy; it would be a betrayal of the Americans who just re-elected a health-reformer president and voted in some of the most progressive senators ever.

About the hypocrisy of the hawks: as I said, it has been evident for years. Consider the early-2011 award for “fiscal responsibility” that three of the leading deficit-scold organizations gave to none other than Paul Ryan. Then as now, Mr. Ryan’s alleged plans to reduce the deficit were obvious flimflam, since he was proposing huge tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations while refusing to specify how these cuts would be offset. But in the eyes of the deficit scolds, his plan to dismantle Medicare and his savage cuts to Medicaid apparently qualified him as a fiscal icon.

- snip -

And then there’s the matter of the “fiscal cliff.”

Contrary to the way it’s often portrayed, the looming prospect of spending cuts and tax increases isn’t a fiscal crisis. It is, instead, a political crisis brought on by the G.O.P.’s attempt to take the economy hostage. And just to be clear, the danger for next year is not that the deficit will be too large but that it will be too small, and hence plunge America back into recession.

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Nate Silver's Best & Worst Polls of 2012: Gallup Did TERRIBLE

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/10/which-polls-fared-best-and-worst-in-the-2012-presidential-race

November 10, 2012, 8:38 PM
Which Polls Fared Best (and Worst) in the 2012 Presidential Race

By NATE SILVER

As Americans’ modes of communication change, the techniques that produce the most accurate polls seems to be changing as well. In last Tuesday’s presidential election, a number of polling firms that conduct their surveys online had strong results. Some telephone polls also performed well. But others, especially those that called only landlines only or took other methodological shortcuts, performed poorly and showed a more Republican-leaning electorate than the one that actually turned out.



- snip -

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. Polls by American Research Group and Mason-Dixon also largely missed the mark. Mason-Dixon might be given a pass since it has a decent track record over the longer term, while American Research Group has long been unreliable.

FiveThirtyEight did not use polls by the firm Pharos Research Group in its analysis, since the details of the polling firm are sketchy and since the principal of the firm, Steven Leuchtman, was unable to answer due-diligence questions when contacted by FiveThirtyEight, such as which call centers he was using to conduct the polls. The firm’s polls turned out to be inaccurate, and to have a Democratic bias.

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.

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Concert for Sandy Relief, '12-12-12,' Being Planned by Same People Behind Historic 9/11 Benefit

Source: NY Daily News

Concert for Sandy Relief, called '12-12-12,' being planned by same people behind historic 9/11 benefit show

'The Concert for New York,' which raised over $35 million, was called one of the greatest moments in rock 'n roll history. Performers then included Paul McCartney, Jay-Z and The Who. Now the same group wants to help Hurricane Sandy victims.


NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2012, 3:14 PM

The same people who organized “The Concert For New York” - the historic, star-packed show at Madison Square Garden that benefitted victims from that pivotal tragedy in 2001 - will assemble a similar fund-raising event for “Sandy” victims, to be held Dec. 12th at the same venue.

Madison Square Garden, along with Clear Channel, and the Weinstein Company, will produce the show, to be called “12-12-12 (A Concert For Sandy Relief)."

While they have yet to name the acts who will appear, in 2001 they featured stars as looming as Paul McCartney, Jay-Z, The Who, Elton John, Eric Clapton and dozens more.

That show, which Rolling Stone Magazine listed among the 50 moments that changed rock ‘n roll, raised over $35 million for its cause.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music-arts/star-studded-show-planned-sandy-relief-article-1.1199570#commentpostform

Hmm. In Light of Petraeus Resignation, Interesting Advice Column Letter from NYT Back in July

@Asher_Wolf
Letter in the @NYTimes advice column - interesting in light of Petraeus’ resignation http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/magazine/a-message-from-beyond.html … (Second from the top.)

https://twitter.com/Asher_Wolf/status/267109433748885506

From Chuck Klosterman's ethics advice column:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/magazine/a-message-from-beyond.html?_r=0

MY WIFE’S LOVER

My wife is having an affair with a government executive. His role is to manage a project whose progress is seen worldwide as a demonstration of American leadership. (This might seem hyperbolic, but it is not an exaggeration.) I have met with him on several occasions, and he has been gracious. (I doubt if he is aware of my knowledge.) I have watched the affair intensify over the last year, and I have also benefited from his generosity. He is engaged in work that I am passionate about and is absolutely the right person for the job. I strongly feel that exposing the affair will create a major distraction that would adversely impact the success of an important effort. My issue: Should I acknowledge this affair and finally force closure? Should I suffer in silence for the next year or two for a project I feel must succeed? Should I be “true to my heart” and walk away from the entire miserable situation and put the episode behind me? NAME WITHHELD


Don’t expose the affair in any high-profile way. It would be different if this man’s project was promoting some (contextually hypocritical) family-values platform, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. The only motive for exposing the relationship would be to humiliate him and your wife, and that’s never a good reason for doing anything. This is between you and your spouse. You should tell her you want to separate, just as you would if she were sleeping with the mailman. The idea of “suffering in silence” for the good of the project is illogical. How would the quiet divorce of this man’s mistress hurt an international leadership initiative? He’d probably be relieved.

The fact that you’re willing to accept your wife’s infidelity for some greater political good is beyond honorable. In fact, it’s so over-the-top honorable that I’m not sure I believe your motives are real. Part of me wonders why you’re even posing this question, particularly in a column that is printed in The New York Times.

Your dilemma is intriguing, but I don’t see how it’s ambiguous. Your wife is having an affair with a person you happen to respect. Why would that last detail change the way you respond to her cheating? Do you admire this man so much that you haven’t asked your wife why she keeps having sex with him? I halfway suspect you’re writing this letter because you want specific people to read this column and deduce who is involved and what’s really going on behind closed doors (without actually addressing the conflict in person). That’s not ethical, either.

REST OF COLUMN AT LINK

Washington (State) Counties Drop Marijuana Misdemeanor Possession Cases in Light of Vote

Source: CNN


08:19 PM ET
Wash. counties drop marijuana misdemeanor possession cases in light of vote

The prosecutor's offices for two Washington counties - including the one that contains Seattle - announced today they will dismiss 175 misdemeanor marijuana possession charges, days after the state's voters legalized the drug.

The dropped cases all involve arrests of individuals age 21 and older for possessing one ounce or less of marijuana.

Washington state voters passed Initiative 502 on Tuesday, thus legalizing and regulating the production, possession, and distribution of cannabis for people ages 21 and older.

The initiative is set to take effect December 6, though King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg decided to act before then.

"There is no point in continuing to seek criminal penalties for conduct that will be legal next month," Satterberg said in a news release.

Read more: http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/09/washington-county-drops-marijuana-misdeanor-possession-cases-in-light-of-vote/comment-page-1/

Top Ten Best (& Worst) Educated States & How They Voted

Grabbed from Neal DeGrasse Tyson's Facebook Page:

Telling Abigael "Bronco" Won the Election



http://abcnews.go.com/m/blogEntry?id=17682717

Jilian Fama
49 minutes ago

Abigael Evans, the crying four-year-old also known as 'Bronco Bamma' girl, has wiped away her tears now that the election is over. It seems that she is happy with the results, or perhaps just happy that the whole thing is over.

- snip -

Evans said that she posted the second video to show her daughter in a good mood.

"I got a lot of flak from people for posting the first YouTube video so I thought it would be good to just put up another video of her happy and in a good mood rather than responding directly to the criticism."

"I wanted to show her again and show everyone how cute she is…I wanted to show her in a good mood. She rarely cries," said Evans.

Last month, a video of the tot tearfully telling her mother she was "tired" of both presidential candidates, became a viral video sensation. The clip has over 15 million views on YouTube since it was posted Oct. 30.

"Abigael talks about Mitt Romney and Barack Obama all the time," her mother told ABC News after the first video became popular. "She always says that Obama is the president and that Mitt Romney is a bad guy who just wants money and wants to be the president."

He's Kicking Ass as 2nd-Term Obama.

Shrewd and tough and dignified. (Listening to his comments just now.)

Paul Krugman: "How far should Obama go in accommodating GOP demands? My answer is, not far at all."

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/09/opinion/krugman-lets-not-make-a-deal.html

Let’s Not Make a Deal

By PAUL KRUGMAN

Published: November 8, 2012

To say the obvious: Democrats won an amazing victory. Not only did they hold the White House despite a still-troubled economy, in a year when their Senate majority was supposed to be doomed, they actually added seats.

Nor was that all: They scored major gains in the states. Most notably, California — long a poster child for the political dysfunction that comes when nothing can get done without a legislative supermajority — not only voted for much-needed tax increases, but elected, you guessed it, a Democratic supermajority.

But one goal eluded the victors. Even though preliminary estimates suggest that Democrats received somewhat more votes than Republicans in Congressional elections, the G.O.P. retains solid control of the House thanks to extreme gerrymandering by courts and Republican-controlled state governments. And Representative John Boehner, the speaker of the House, wasted no time in declaring that his party remains as intransigent as ever, utterly opposed to any rise in tax rates even as it whines about the size of the deficit.

So President Obama has to make a decision, almost immediately, about how to deal with continuing Republican obstruction. How far should he go in accommodating the G.O.P.’s demands?

My answer is, not far at all. Mr. Obama should hang tough, declaring himself willing, if necessary, to hold his ground even at the cost of letting his opponents inflict damage on a still-shaky economy. And this is definitely no time to negotiate a “grand bargain” on the budget that snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.

- snip -

Well. This has to stop...

MORE AT LINK

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