Cleveland: Keeping Christmas at Home
Ramona: The War on Happy Holidays
Richard Day: Cold in Minnesota, and in the Hearts of Men
Decided to torture myself with Meet The Press this morning. Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina was a guest. She admitted that taxes would have to rise on millionaires and billionaires. Then she made the familiar argument that families of four who live in high cost areas don't feel like millionaires when they make a quarter million dollars a year. Nobody challenged her on that. But, they never do. I'm used to it. And I'll bet you that Carly has probably had hard working executive assistants who she's paid in excess of $200k a year. It's not uncommon in big public companies and they're often worth every penny. [Read more]
"We must be vigilant," proclaimed Xi Jinping, China's new paramount leader. In his inaugural speech to the 25-person Politburo, he warned that rampant graft and corruption would "doom the party and the state" if it continued unchecked.
He has a point. From petty graft in far-flung villages to the regime-shaking Bo Xilai scandal, rampant corruption has fueled the social unrest that the long-toothed oligarchs fear so much. Payoffs have bumped China's vaunted high-speed trains off their shoddy tracks. Graft has nibbled away the roots of its famously fertile economy. [Read more]
Today my favorite Op-Ed writer of them all, Thomas Friedman, tackles the skills of America's workers. Based on the testimony of Traci Tapani, who inherited a small sheet metal company in Wyoming, Friedman has concluded that America's workers don't have the skills for what modern work requires. [Read more]
There's been a lot of post-election hand-wringing about how the Republicans can "reach out" to minority voters. If they can't win just by energizing their shrinking base of white people, what's next? Immigration reform? Marco Rubio? What's it going to take?
At the same time, you have former vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan blaming the Romney loss on voters from "urban areas." Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
So, Luke, remember your dad, Tim Russert? Let's say he's sitting in a press room where House minority leader Nancy Pelosi is taking questions after announcing that she's staying put and is really excited about the next term, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Let's say he notices that she isn't alone up there on that podium; he sees there are maybe a dozen women who hold seats in the House of Representatives. They're standing behind her.
Fascinating piece in The LA Times about a call that Mitt Romney had with his donors. Romney basically repeats the 47% argument, without the blunt language. Obama won, says Romney, because he turned out throngs of people who want health care and the possibility of student loan forgiveness.
"Romney argued that Obama’s healthcare plan’s promise of coverage 'in perpetuity' was 'highly motivational' to those voters making $25,000 to $35,000 who might not have been covered, as well as to African American and Hispanic voters." [Read more]
David Petraeus's downfall at the CIA, resigning after his marital infidelity was exposed, has gotten the kind of press coverage generally reserved for winning the Nobel Prize or becoming the first man on Mars. Story after story about his resignation rhapsodizes about the greatness of Petraeus, his military brilliance, his reputation for "probity and integrity." He is hailed as the model of a modern general, without a whiff of Gilbert & Sullivan irony in that phrase. Some people even single out the resignation itself as a sign of Petraeus's lofty sense of honor, as if why he was resigning had nothing to do with it. [Read more]
Late in the week, The Daily called with the kind of assignment that no opinion writer could turn down. Obama has a chance to be the Reagan of the left, they said. If he gets a reasonable amount of what he wants in his second term, what will America look like? Writing this longer essay was an exercise in optimism and, though I tried to be realistic, I also found it kind of a tonic for cynicism. Things can get better, with just the ideas that Obama has expressed and hinted at. [Read more]
The pundits are pondering. They mention mandates and movements, margins and maneuvers and meetings in the middle. They wax wisely on who won and why they won and which way the wind will waft on Wednesday.
We love to mock them, these prattling experts and prognosticators. And yet we listen, we read, we react. We can't help ourselves. We want to know what it all means and what will happen next. We are determined to squeeze great meaning from great events. We are all pundits.
But the truth is that the great election of November 7, 2012, was all but meaningless. It represents neither a pivot point nor a portent. A poor candidate lost to a strong candidate, as as he was expected to do. A diverse majority of Democrats in the Senate will continue to play a weak hand weakly. A militant majority of Republicans in the House will continue to obstruct, ignoring calls for moderation as they have done for two decades. The federal government will hobble feebly along. [Read more]
It's noon and the Dow is down over 300 points (about 2.4% in this age of big numbers) and so, if it hasn't started already, people are going to try to say that the markets are rejecting the public's choice of a second Obama term, and of a larger Democratic majority in the Senate, or both of those things. [Read more]
President Obama won a second term last night and it wasn't even a squeaker. The Senate and the House stayed pretty much the same, but Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin and Tammy Duckworth are going to Washington.
Joe Walsh, Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin will wander off into an oblivion they so richly deserve.
Karl Rove was seen on Fox howling foul over Ohio with such naked grief his election night companions could only look on, astonished.
Donald Trump threw such an incomprehensible hissy fit on Twitter you just had to know the little guy was not happy. [Read more]
One of the interesting things about voting is that there isn't a good reason for it, especially from the perspective of modeling human behavior that's common in fields like economics. In order to illustrate why this is true, I've put today's Presidential election into a simple game theory framework:
For those interested, I'm doing a live-blog of Fox News Election coverage all day today. I will likely be in a home for the criminally insane tomorrow, but i do it for you.
5 AM EST.
I'm up and already nervous about what this election night will bring. I want the Democrats to win everything. I want the Republicans to lose in numbers large enough to show them the error of their ways. I'm so biased that way there's no pretending otherwise. I know it won't happen, but if I were wishing upon a star it's what I would be wishing for.
I'm an old-style liberal--a dreamer, an optimist, a pie-in-the-sky Pollyanna. There aren't many of us left, mainly because that kind of nonsense has been knocked out of the more sensible of us. With me it's still there, and at this late stage I have a feeling it's here to stay.
To vote in Ohio on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, you will need to bring a form of identification, either your driver's license or something that has your name and current address. If you're confused about where to go to vote, you can go to GottaVote Ohio or to the Ohio Secretary of State's webpage. Those sources also have information about the kind of ID you'll need to vote. [Read more]
I don't read yesterday's (and this morning's polls) as that favorable. What gives? Very early Saturday morning (I'm going by east coast time throughout this post), Nate explained that the President's chance of winning was over 80% because of the 22 polls of swing states published Friday, he led in 19 and trailed in only 1. This seemed sensible. On Saturday, there were fewer published polls (at least listed at Real Clear Politics) and a couple of these were not positive for Obama. The most worrisome are a Tampa Bay Times Florida poll that shows Romney +6 and, perhaps even more troubling, a University of New Hampshire poll showing a tie in the Granite State. The Saturday polls that show Obama ahead were not exceptionally strong for h [Read more]
Ramona asks, flabbergasted, why this guy Romney is even able to make a race out of this. Over at Slate, Tom Scocca seems to have the answer. Race. Well, and gender. It's white guys who are giving Romney a fighting chance, even though, as Daggers like DF have concluded, it's still Obama's election to lose. Even Time admits it. [Read more]
Many voices, from the hallowed blogs of Dag to the exalted table around which Mighty Joe Scarborough and his colleagues convene, have decried the lack of substance in this election (though I'm pretty sure I hear that complaint every time anyone is running for office - "This should be about the issues!"). Mika Brzezinski has called it the Seinfeld election - a race about nothing - though I'll leave up to the reader whether this reflects more accurately the election or her observational skills. [Read more]
Okay, I'm breathing again--raggedly, to be honest, but I'm seeing clearly and whatever fun writing I was so longing for last week will just have to wait. Mitt Romney is closing in on the home stretch and I can't stand it. What can I say that will change that? We all know there is nothing I can say that will change anything this monumental and incomprehensible. But I repeat: I can't stand it.
In yesterday's David Brooks column, he offered a tepid endorsement of Mitt "Thurston Howell" Romney for President. Brooks games out what the next two years will probably look like under Romney or Obama. There's really nothing insightful or interesting there, so here's his conclusion: [Read more]