Rich people are cray

It’s only gifts and handouts when it’s going to other people.

Ezra Klein: Here’s my question about those comments. Romney was promising the very rich either a huge tax cut or, if you believe he would’ve paid for every dime and dollar of his cut, protection from any tax increases. He was promising financiers that he would roll back Dodd-Frank and Sarbanex-Oxley. He was promising current seniors that he wouldn’t touch their benefit. How are these not “gifts”?

Chrystia Freeland: Let me be clear that I’m not defending any of them. But I think the way it works — and I think Romney’s comments were very telling in this regard — there are two differences in the mind of this class. First, they’re absolutely convinced that they’re not asking for special privileges for themselves. They’re convinced that it just so happens that their self-interest coincides perfectly with the collective interest. That’s where you get this idea of the “job creators”. The view is that to seek a low tax environment or less regulation, that’s not special pleading for yourself, it’s not transactional politics. It’s that this set of rules is the most conducive to economic growth for everybody. It will grow the pie. Now, it also happens to be an incredibly convenient way of thinking. If you’ve developed an ideology that what’s good for you personally also happens to be good for everyone else, that’s quite wonderful because there’s no moral tension.

Via Balloon Juice

Rich people are cray

2012 election recap

I don’t have it in me this week to do a full scale 2012 election compendium like I did in 2008, but just a few good links that cover the election well. Conventional wisdom heading into the campaign stated Dems would lose seats in the Senate and Obama, presiding over historically bad unemployment numbers and a weak economy, should be easier to defeat. That didn’t happen. The GOP primary season was a clown car and Mitt Romney barely made it through. After the party conventions, Obama took a commanding lead in the national and state polling. The first presidential debate, in which Romney was widely seen to have destroyed Obama, reversed national polling trends and tightened many state races. (“Did Obama Just Throw the Entire Election Away?”) This reversal was halted at around the time of the VP debate, and began to turn around shortly thereafter. It was at about this time the questioning of polls began (Unskewed!), and as election day got closer and closer, a backlash against Nate Silver began.

Now that the election is over, many in the GOP are blaming Hurricane Sandy and Chris Christie for thwarting Romney’s momentum, though Romney’s momentum started to thwart before the Hurricane, and if you’re election can be derailed by someone in your party saying nice things about the other guy, you have bigger problems. Like the demographics of the electorate.

Leading to the Romney campaign’s ultra-confidence, and the driver for distrusting the polls, was a misunderstanding of the election climate. They didn’t think Obama could match his 2008 turnout, which lead them to believe the electorate would be far whiter than it was. Obama also beat Romney among unmarried women (who made up 23% of the electorate), by 38 points. More on women voters and how underreported rape and abortions may have doomed the GOP.

Lastly, it was a terrific night for LGBT rights as gay marriage was approved in Washington, Maine, and Maryland, and an anti-gay marriage ballot initiative was defeated in Minnesota. Wisconsin also elected the first openly gay senator.

Below are some more links worth looking at about the election.

Obama’s speech after winning the election.

Romney’s classy concession speech. In another classy move, they streamed Obama’s speech on the campaign website.

After Fox News projected Obama as the winner of Ohio, and thus the election, there was some amazing theater live as Karl Rove pushed back on the projection. Reports of Rove melting down or freaking out were overstated, but the weird part was Megyn Kelly leaving the anchor desk and walking through the studio to the office where projections were being made. In any case, Rove is in hot water himself for spending lots of money raised from rich dudes with little to show for it. Questions persisted about possible reasons for Rove’s outburst.

Was he acting as the man who oversaw the most expensive advertising assault on a sitting president in history, unable to face his own wounded pride? The fund-raiser who had persuaded wealthy conservatives to give hundreds of millions of dollars and now had a lot of explaining to do? Or the former political strategist for George W. Bush, who saw firsthand how a botched network call could alter the course of a presidential contest?

Round up of conservative commentary: Why Romney lost.

How Obama made his way back after the first debate.

Another look at how Republicans are reacting in the aftermath.

DKos election thoughts.

Why was Dick Morris wrong in his predictions? Because he’s racist and stupid.

Romney’s friends in the media then and now.

The conservative media lost to the MSM.

How many hours of Glenn Beck conspiracy theories did Fox News broadcast to its viewers? How many hours of transparently mindless Sean Hannity content is still broadcast daily? Why don’t Americans trust Republicans on foreign policy as they once did? In part because conservatism hasn’t grappled with the foreign-policy failures of George W. Bush. A conspiracy of silence surrounds the subject. Romney could neither run on the man’s record nor repudiate it. The most damaging Romney gaffe of the campaign, where he talked about how the 47 percent of Americans who pay no income taxes are a lost cause for Republicans? Either he was unaware that many of those people are Republican voters, or was pandering to GOP donors who are misinformed. Either way, bad information within the conservative movement was to blame.

Unskewed founder realizes he unskewed the polls too much.

Florida took two days to finalize their vote, and many Americans stood in long lines to vote. Here’s 5 ways this could be sped up, including the information Congress has broad powers to dictate how things should go. They just haven’t historically used those powers.

Hippies Wander Into the Lions’ Den, Maul Lions.

This map shows the US the states drawn to emphasize the number of electoral votes.

This is from the last speech Obama gave as a candidate.

2012 election recap

Empathetic voter story generator


Mitt Romney did a great job pretending to be empathetic at the first Presidential debate on Wednesday night, what with the stories about voters coming up to him and telling him sad things. His empathy program sure got an update in time. Well, there’s about a month left in the election and I figured Mitt would need some help conjuring up some more empathetic stories of voters for the debate. If necessary, he can come here and get a couple to use for later.

      var putput = function() {
        var fields = {
          names: [“Adam”, “Bill”, “David”, “Stephanie”, “Madison”, “Freddy”, “Joey”, “Anita”, “Nicole”, “Heather”, “Ethel”, “Beth”, “Beverly”, “Mickey”, “Brad”, “Clarence”, “Brenda”, “Bonnie”, “Stella”, “Theresa”],
          jobs: [“actor”, “bus driver”, “machine worker”, “teacher”, “truck driver”, “cop”, “stripper”, “banker”, “barista”, “sports league owner”, “mechanic”, “construction worker”, “podcaster”, “blogger”, “professor”, “new media enthusiast”, “bad accountant”],
          places: [“Scranton”, “Akron”, “Cincinnati”, “Worcester”, “Tempe”, “Phoenix”, “Cleveland”, “Dayton”, “Columbus”, “Nashua”, “Harrisburg”, “Orange County”, “Des Moines”, “Lexington, KY”, “Covington, KY”, “Reno”, “Springfield”, “Kansas City”, “Bloomington”, “Akron”, “Danvers”, “San Luis Obispo”, “Santa Fe”, “Pecos”, “Lubbock”, “Fort Smith”, “Tulsa”, “Macon”, “Biloxi”, “Mobile”, “Tampa”, “Orlando”, “a small town I can’t remember the name of”],
          first_facts: [“put hands on me”, “touched my arm”, “touched my arm and then my leg”, “tried to kiss me”, “hugged me”, “did not kneel before me”, “gave me some of their soda pop”, “called soda, ‘pop'”, “asked me for a job”, “gave me a belt”, “gave me a casserole”, “hurt my hand with their vice-like grip”, “shook my hand”, “reached for my arm”, “grabbed my elbow”],
          second_facts: [“I smell like Tuesday”, “Big Bird is gay”, “no”, “they lost their job to Big Bird”, “they were fired for stealing stuff”, “they never learned how to read”, “no, just no”, “I should try parting my hair the other way”, “times are tough”, “they are cheating on their spouse”, “lighting the candle at both ends”, “they loved Godfather 3”, “I looked whiter in real life”, “my laugh sucks”, “I don’t have compassion eyes”, “they really, really, really liked my name”, “they don’t care about fact checkers either”, “they would fire Big Bird, too”, “their underpants were on backward”, “their favorite color is 12:30”, “I can get it if I want it”, “they didn’t like the 47% either”, “they had a secret, but they could only show me”, “they heard the voices I hear”]
        var rand = function(x){return x[Math.floor(Math.random()*x.length)];};

        var name = rand(fields[‘names’]),
            job = rand(fields[‘jobs’]),
            place = rand(fields[‘places’]),
            fact1 = rand(fields[‘first_facts’]),
            fact2 = rand(fields[‘second_facts’]);

        var result = “The other day, I met a ” + job + ” from ” + place + ” named ” + name + “, who ” + fact1 + ” and told me ” + fact2 + “.”;


Click “Generate a voter story” if you need an empathetic voter story of your own. 

Generate a voter story!

Empathetic voter story generator