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Morning Political Roundup for April 30th, 2012

by: rdelbov

Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 09:00:00 AM EDT


President

Romney Roadmap: The Post's road to 270 looks narrow according to this article.  This is the ultimate conventional wisdom from the ultimate inside the beltway newspaper. The writer notes that Romney's path to 270 looks similar to the Bush path in 2000 & 2004. In my opinion this article repeats much of what has been discussed here for months and months. I suspect in 2016 or 2020 the writer will likely be able to just change the names of the candidates and then republish the article.

Boehner: The Speaker has followed up his endorsement of Romney by calling him "very likeable." Boehner also says that "American people don't want to vote for a loser." This was in reference to Romney's successful business career.

Gallup: The month of April is coming to an end with the President holding a narrow lead over Romney. This Gallup tracking poll shows the President ahead of his Republican foe by 47-46.

Iowa: The Republican party has gained the voter registration edge in this state for the 1st time since 2006. This will certainly start getting more people talking about a possible GOP pickup for Romney this fall. In case you are wondering, at the start of the year after the Iowa caucus,  the Democratic advantage in registration was 30,000.  In the months since the caucus that D advantage has disappeared. In Nov 2008 the Democrats had a 106,000 voter registration advantage over the Republicans.  Iowa voter registration stats are available at this link.  

Alaska: No delegates were at stake but Ron Paul and Teaparty forces took over the GOP party reins this weekend.  So Mitt Romney and the National GOP will be dealing with a lot of new faces in Alaska this fall. 

Louisiana: Ron Paul won a majority of delegates selected at congressional level caucuses this weekend. This will almost certainly give him the majority of this state's national convention delegates.  The exact number of delegates will not be finalized until the state convention in June.

North Carolina: Stuart Rothenberg points out that North Carolina is unlikely to go for President Obama again in 2012. Several factors, including a state Democratic Party scandal, the unpopularity of Gov. Bev Purdue, the higher than national unemployment rate, and the state's traditional Republican electorate, have this one leaning toward Romney.

Governor

North Carolina: Former Congressman Bob Etheridge picks up several big endorsements today.  The primary for the Democratic nomination between Bob Etheridge and Lt Gov Dalton is expected to be close.  One key question will be if either candidate can top 40% next Tuesday to avoid a runoff. 

House

Indiana 5: There will be a major race for Congress next week for this seat. It looks like former Congressman David McIntosh and former US Attorney Susan Brooks are the top fundraisers. I have not seen polling in this race, so money and newsprint seem to be pointing to these two being the front runners. This race became open when longtime Congressman Dan Burton announced he'd retire at the end of his term.

Indiana 6: Mike Pence gave up this safe Republican seat to run for governor. The three major candidates were also rans in various races in 2010. Don Bates finished 4th in the 2010 Republican Senate primary. Luke Messer narrowly lost a GOP house primary to Dan Burton in IN5. Travis Hankins narrowly lost the GOP primary to Todd Young in nearby IN9. Redistricting has placed these candidates in the redrawn 6th seat. There are several other GOP candidates but these three have drawn the most attention.

Indiana 2: The final open seat race in Indiana was vacated by Joe Donnelly. Donnelly is running for the US Senate and there is not a lot of doubt that Jackie Walorski and Brendan Mullen will win their primaries.  They have raised a good bit of money but certainly will save most of their funds for their November faceoff. Republican Walorski narrowly lost this seat in 2010 and is considered by some experts to be the favorite in this race.

Minnesota 2: Mike Obermueller won the DFL endorsement to Congress this weekend. There still could be a primary for this seat later this year but the DFL endorsement just about guarantees him the nomination to take on GOP Congressman John Kline.

Redistricting

There are still a few loose ends to 2012 redistricting as court battles linger on. 

Alaska: The Redistricting Board plans an appeal of a lower court judge who overturned the redo of its map. This is the legislative map that needs to be in place in a month so primaries can be held this summer.  For those who are following closely the original map of the Redistricting Board survived a lower court fight but the Alaska Supreme Court ordered four house seats to be redone.  The Board redid those four house seats and now a lower state court judge has declared the corrections are in violation of the state constitutional redistricting laws.  So it is back to State Supreme Court for this map.

Florida: The state's new Congressional map's fate is in the hands of Leon County Judge Terry Lewis. The Judge has heard several days of arguments and is pondering what his options are. The filing deadlines are fast approaching and millions of Florida's voters are waiting to know what districts they will be in. The judge could decide to hold a trial to determine the constitutionality of the map or just overturn it or even draw one himself. That last option seems unlikely as the judge seems unwilling to draw it himself. The State Supreme Court, on Friday, did uphold the redrawing of the State Senate map. So only the Congressional map in Florida is not completely settled.

rdelbov :: Morning Political Roundup for April 30th, 2012
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AR-04: Rankin is on the air. . .
with a horrible ad.

When you say, "My dad is an economist" and act as if that makes you understand economics yourself, well, let's just say. . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Shudders She reminds me of an older version of Sarah Palin.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Carl DeMaio for CA-52!


I don't see how this add
qualifies as "horrible." That is reserved for something like the "Debbie-spend-it-now" debacle. This is nothing of that sort. And while that line of "daughter of an economist" is kinda silly, it won't really hurt her chances and she IS a business woman (and MUSIC TEACHER! lol). I know you like Tom Cotton but come on, she isn't a terrible person and would be just as fine as Cotton is.

Member, Small Government Caucus

21, Pro-life Libertarian-leaning R, NC-1



[ Parent ]
AR-04
This is true. . .
she isn't a terrible person

. . . and this is not.

and would be just as fine as Cotton is.

Ask anyone on the ground in Arkansas who follows politics intently (i.e. not voters who vote on name recognition or "oh, wow, this candidate is so nice and he smiles to happily!). She's a party line parrot type and he's a guy with two Harvard degrees and years of military service. Their understanding of the issues couldn't be any more different, even if they'll probably vote the same.

I'm not trying to shill for him but I'm just pointing out some differences. Yes, Rankin would probably vote just fine but you have to take the ability to win higher office and star potential into account, too.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Carl DeMaio for CA-52!


[ Parent ]
To RRR's point
I am pulling hard for Rankin as I worry about Cottons long term potential (Then again after McDaniel, Ross and a few others Democrats won't put up much of a fight).

33/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat

[ Parent ]
She supports the Fair Tax
Anyobe that supports it is certainly not shilling for anyone.

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

[ Parent ]
Not true
It's easy to proclaim your support for the FairTax without knowing anything about it first. You don't have to know a lot about something (or anything at all, really) as a politician to say you support something. Sad, but true.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Carl DeMaio for CA-52!


[ Parent ]
Are you claiming
That she supports the Fair Tax yet knows nothing about it? If so, I would live to know how you know this. She supported it in 2010, just like Huckabee himself, and she's no dummy, which makes your comment quite shocking to say the least.

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

[ Parent ]
No, dude
My comment had nothing to do about Rankin. It had to do with your claim that anyone who supports the fair tax is definitionally not a shill because that's frankly not true.

I didn't say anything about Rankin in that comment.

BTW, FYI, Huckabee was one of the biggest spending Republican governors. Cato was not a fan at all.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Carl DeMaio for CA-52!


[ Parent ]
*Nothing to do with


From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Carl DeMaio for CA-52!


[ Parent ]
Supporting the Fair Tax
Is not something someone would voluntarily do if they wanted to just go along to get along, that's my point. My point with Huckabee is that he and Rankin know each other, so it would be unlikely she knew nothing about the Fair Tax, considering he's endorsed her twice now.  

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

[ Parent ]
Uhh
It's definitely something someone would do to win a primary in a conservative seat.

Dude, sooo many members of Congress support things because their advisors tell them to or because it sounds like the smart vote to take, politically speaking. You're giving politicians a whole lot of credit.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Carl DeMaio for CA-52!


[ Parent ]
Not true
Unfortunately, supporting the Fair Tax had not become as widespread as you say it is. Supporting major changes to the tax code yes, but not this specific idea.  

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

[ Parent ]
Fair Tax
People in the know told her to support it in 2010 as a way of energizing the Republican base. I personally don't think she knows much about it (I've met her). Her strength is social issues.

[ Parent ]
I'm interested to know
Who are these people in the "know" that told her to support it in 2010? I have a hard time believing that she wouldn't even know the basic concepts of the plan.

Regardless, for me, as long as she votes for it when the time comes, is all I want.  

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3


[ Parent ]
eh
I would still be okay with either of them. We put a different priority on issues and I think Rankin would give a little more attention to what matters most to me. But Cotton would still be more than acceptable don't get me wrong.

Member, Small Government Caucus

21, Pro-life Libertarian-leaning R, NC-1



[ Parent ]
The only thing
that would put me off her is if she really cannot win. As I understand it, the district was made even more republican and there is no Mike Ross this time so it should be likely/safe R regardless.  

Member, Small Government Caucus

21, Pro-life Libertarian-leaning R, NC-1



[ Parent ]
That's not true
The only reason this is Safe R is because one Democrat has announced he's going to be running a 19th Century campaign and the other Democrat is extremely corrupt (including some stories that have not come out about him).

Rankin is particularly unpopular with Democrats who disapprove of Obama, and if you could get a conservative Democrat running a real campaign here, Rankin could be in trouble.

Right now, my predictions would be:
Cotton 60%, Jeffress 40%
Rankin 55%, Jeffress 45%


[ Parent ]
Hm, well
a win is a win. What did she do to draw their ire exactly?  

Member, Small Government Caucus

21, Pro-life Libertarian-leaning R, NC-1



[ Parent ]
I think it's more of her tone
than anything else. She feels contrived (as that ad demonstrates), and I don't think running against Ross really helped (people really like Ross here).

Anyway, these are just the numbers.


[ Parent ]
Oh...I forgot to mention the biggest thing
She's seen as a social issues candidate. That's not a bad thing for Arkansas Democrats but right now economic issues are on the forefront.  

[ Parent ]
Meh
Let's not lose the forest for the trees; Rankin will probably win any statewide office in Arkansas given another 10 years or so. Cotton has national-ticket potential though.

Would Cotton be better? Yes. Would Rankin be bad? No. And Cotton will in all likelihood have other chances if he somehow botches this one.

R - MD-7


[ Parent ]
National ticket?
Ya, I don't think so.

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

[ Parent ]
Talking 2030s or so
he's one of the handful of people that gives that sort of vibe, but of course he has a lot of work to do along the way.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
I don't see the potential
His talent seems to be overrated.

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

[ Parent ]
Hmm
Then what do you look for in your politicians? He's almost universally seen as someone with star potential.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Carl DeMaio for CA-52!


[ Parent ]
No
He is seen as someone with potential within AR, but I haven't heard anyone say anything about potential on the national stage. The guy seems pretty stiff and dull to me. Sure, he's got a great background and story to tell, and he seems pretty good on the issues, but let's not get carries away.

29/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

[ Parent ]
For every JFK
that keeps climbing straight to the presidency there are a dozen John Lindsays who start up the ladder and can't take the heat. Cotton's far more likely to be in the later camp but given the choice between him and someone who's guaranteed to be a backbencher, I'd say give the ambitious guy a chance to really prove himself.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Cotton
It's not so much that I think he's a phenomenal talent, he's just somebody that gives the vibe of "I'm going to be president if it kills me." As an analogy, Josh Mandel is another person I'd put in that category. And when it comes to the presidency, wanting it badly enough can be half the battle.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Cotton
If Ayotte or Martinez were to be leading a GOP ticket in the 2020s, a Governor Cotton would be a great running mate.  

Male, LA-01

Cassidy, Rounds, Ernst, Handel, Land for Senate!  


[ Parent ]
Bingo, Shamlet
I agree with everything you just said. I can actually legitimately see President Cotton some day. He'd be an excellent candidate.

As I've said, she'd vote the right way but he just has waaaaay more depth to him and the sky (or maybe even the Presidency) is the limit for him if he has a solid career in Arkansas.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Carl DeMaio for CA-52!


[ Parent ]
That's impossible to tell this far out
Could it happen? Yes. Could I be president some day? Absolutely. Now granted his shot is better than mine but I think it's still a little premature to be expanding on his national ticket status lol.

In a perfect world, both would be in congress.  

Member, Small Government Caucus

21, Pro-life Libertarian-leaning R, NC-1



[ Parent ]
Heh
By the way, if I ran for Congress and proclaimed to understand medicine because my parents are both doctors, I'd be laughed out of the room. She basically did the same thing.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Carl DeMaio for CA-52!


[ Parent ]
Not all fields are equal
I started learning music from my dad and then went from there. She is a business woman so I have to believe she knows something about economics.  

Member, Small Government Caucus

21, Pro-life Libertarian-leaning R, NC-1



[ Parent ]
It'd make me much more likely to believe that
she knows something about accounting. Economics is a fairly useless skill for a businesswoman.  

[ Parent ]
^This
Economics and accounting are two very, very different things.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Carl DeMaio for CA-52!


[ Parent ]
Yes
I would agree completely with this viewpoint.

28, Republican, PA-6

[ Parent ]
Soooo
The guy who owns a pizza shop necessarily knows about economics?

They may know about running a business, and therefore may have a decent basic understanding of, say, how the tax code affects hiring, but unless your business is pretty darn big and important, I doubt it gives you much insight into specific federal economic policy and how that affects small business.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Carl DeMaio for CA-52!


[ Parent ]
uh yeah.
You are not going to be very successful in business without an understanding of the economy. And having a degree does not mean you really understand the economy (cough PAUL KRUGMAN cough lol).

Member, Small Government Caucus

21, Pro-life Libertarian-leaning R, NC-1



[ Parent ]
No, not really.
Most of econ deals with macro anyway, which is completely irrelevant to running a business. You don't really care about the practical effects of downward nominal wage rigidity vs. downward real wage rigidity when you're running a chain of 10 local car dealerships.

Micro is in theory more relevant, but when you actually try and apply that to a business, then you'll go under in a month.

And as for Krugman, eh. Ask the top economists of the Republican Party off-camera if he understands econ, and they'll tell you that of course he does. He has a nobel, for god's sake.

I'm also going to point out that every economist, including highly conservative ones, just shake their heads at some of the stuff that is being said by politicians. For instance, Mankiw's introduction to econ, and he's the leading GOP economist (Bush's Chairman of Economic Advisors, engineered the Bush taxcuts, lead advisor to Romney on the economy), went on for whole chapters about multiplier effects in government stimulus spending.


[ Parent ]
Maybe I just will never get
how it's perfectly acceptable for governments to operate under huge deficits and accumulate ridiculous amounts of debt.

And yeah the nobel committee these days is a complete joke. They also gave Obama a piece prize.  

Member, Small Government Caucus

21, Pro-life Libertarian-leaning R, NC-1



[ Parent ]
Yes, maybe.
I won't get into commenting on that, just saying that professional economists in both parties would just have their jaws dropping in terror at a "no deficit" plan-- most economists argue that a sustainable deficit has mostly positive effects. It's just that Republicans and Democrats disagree on the debt-to-GDP ratio that counts as "sustainable".

And as for Nobel, the peace prize is and always was highly political. To a smaller extent that also applies to literature. The others? Nah.

The latest econ nobel prize winner's research is summarized as

Among other things, he was one of the main promoters of the use of vector autoregression in empirical macroeconomics. He has also advocated Bayesian statistics, arguing for its power in formulating and evaluating economic policies.

on Wiki. That stuff is just highly technical. At that level you don't really have politics in the background, you just run your code and see what comes out of it.  


[ Parent ]
Krugman
He knows his economics, whether or not his articles reflect that is a different question.

Libertarian-R New MA-5.  

[ Parent ]
Krugman "understands" the economy
the way Obama "understands" the constitution. He wants the economy to behave a certain way but it just doesn't.  

Member, Small Government Caucus

21, Pro-life Libertarian-leaning R, NC-1



[ Parent ]
Let's simplify this
So, two football coaches may have faith in completely different types of offensive strategies. Their strategies to win games may be completely different. There are examples of this all across the NFL. That doesn't mean that either coach doesn't understand the game. . . they surely understand it quite well but have different opinions as to how to best win the game, or in economics, grow and/or maintain the economy.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Carl DeMaio for CA-52!


[ Parent ]
I'm just curious.
Have you ever read a scientific econ paper?

Krugman's papers read like this:


For simplicity of exposition, it will be assumed that all imports are inputs into home goods production, i.e., that there is no direct final demand for imports.

This implies that P(H) is the proper deflator if ve vant to measure real income of workers or capitalists.

We will assume separate consumption functions for the two groups, so the demand side of the model may be written

H= C(W)*((Y(W)/P(H))+C(R)*((Y(R)/P(H))+I(r)+G
M=e(MH)K

Here, M stands for real imports, r is the interest rate, which we assume to be held fixed, and G is real government consumption. For convenience, define

δC(W)/δ(Y(W)/P(H))=Yw,δC(R)/δ(Y(R)/P(H))=Yh

And I deliberately picked a part that's pretty easy. Krugman isn't some shill who writes NYT columns, at least that's not his main job.  


[ Parent ]
Yes
I've spent more than enough time looking at academic econ papers while majoring in it at my first Ivy league go round.

I wasn't referring to his academic articles though.

Libertarian-R New MA-5.  


[ Parent ]
AD123
He was talking to MatthewP when he asked him whether he has ever read an academic economics paper.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Carl DeMaio for CA-52!


[ Parent ]
What I am trying to get at
is that Truthfully, Krugman does indeed understand free market economics and he just doesn't like them. I'll admit, I do not spend too much time reading his economic scientific papers (although I have looked at some and yes most of the equations are over my head) but whenever I listen to him speak, he reeks of economic ignorance even though he may not be.

Member, Small Government Caucus

21, Pro-life Libertarian-leaning R, NC-1



[ Parent ]
Well, sort of.
"Truthfully, Krugman does indeed understand free market economics and he just doesn't like them."

He doesn't like laissez-faire economics, but there is no one really out there not advocating for market-based economics today. Krugman certainly does. It's just that most people want to place some regulations and restrictions on them. And everyone does! Republicans aren't in favor of 80-hour week child labor, for instance. It's just a question on the margins of issues like protectionism vs. free trade, not a fundamental disagreement on whether a free market economy should exist.


[ Parent ]
Well count me out of what "most people" want
Republicans may not be in favor of complete laissez-faire economics but libertarians sure are! lol. I for one think that if you want to work 80 hours, go right ahead! And if a 13 year old wants to work (and can do the job), he or she can go right ahead as well.

And by definition, protectionism and regulations cannot exist in a truly "free" market. Their very nature makes the market not free.

Member, Small Government Caucus

21, Pro-life Libertarian-leaning R, NC-1



[ Parent ]
Oh, yeah, that wasn't directed at you.
I agree that he's often very polemic in his NYT columns, but that doesn't change the fact that he is a very serious economist.

[ Parent ]
Then why
does he not act like it? His class warrior mantra severely diminishes him.

Member, Small Government Caucus

21, Pro-life Libertarian-leaning R, NC-1



[ Parent ]
Because he's not talking to an audience of economists in the
NYT columns. That's just how it goes. You don't talk about your serious ideas on technical issues, because no one would get that. When you read Republican economists doing columns, it's also just "tax cuts tax cuts tax cuts", although their academic work is much more differentiated than that-- like Mankiw's infamous "if the inheritance tax is raised I wouldn't write this column because that means I couldn't leave the money I get for it to my son" column.

[ Parent ]
Before Keynes were all economists
wrong or short sighted or misinformed? Outside of Marxist thinking there was a general consensus, before Keynes, as to the fundamentals of economics as related to market economuy and the role of government.  

Keynes, in theory at least, started economics down a new path.  We have hundreds of years of expirience, prior to the 1930s, what the cost of deficit spending and debasing one's currency is.  We only have to look at Germany 1920s or Mugambe's economic policies of the last decade to know that there is a danger to long term deficits and debasing one's currency.  For that matter I am not even sure Keynes envisioned permanment deficit spending.  

So Krugman has his Nobel and I will not argue about the value of that but conservative economists can and do point to the dangers of long term deficit spending.  

My contention, with Obamanomics, is that they have broke the stimulus curve.  The massive amount of deficit spending and monetary stimulus should have send the US economy into orbit.  Why has that not happened?  In 2009 & 2010 we saw, in relation to past history, the greatest fiscal and monetary stimulus of all time but it was not until late 2010 that things picked up. I believe the massive attack from obama on healthcare industry, manufacturing (cap & trade), energy and financial services completely countered acted whatever stimulus came from DC.  Yes it is a micro analysis but I saw 1st hand where businessman froze in place investments in 2009 due to the fear of what Obama would do to their businesses.

Yes its also an observation but how does anyone account for the massive fiscal stimulus of 2009-2010 as well as the massive monetary infusions not moving the economy to positive growth in 2009? Economic uncertainy hurts economic growth and job creaton.  The attempt by Obama to enact Cap & Trade, NLRB labor moves, Obamacare and putting the brakes on parts of the domestic energy business offset whatever fiscal and monetary stimulus he pushed.

So I am sure what history Krugman bases his views on as no government has ever been able to build long term prosperity on running up continued deficits.  


[ Parent ]
Well, yes.
Generally, everyone significantly before WWII was pretty misinformed and wrong. Even most of, say, Einstein's theories would be pretty ridiculous today if posed the way he did in the early 1900s. And I don't just mean the CERN thing with over-light speed.

The availability of a huge amount of computational power has fundamentally changed what science can do and analyze. The people 100 years ago weren't stupid, but they didn't have access to any of the seriously complex tools that we now have to fact-check their theories.  


[ Parent ]
And yet
everyone continues down the same ol' path of spending to oblivion. Definition of insanity...lol

Member, Small Government Caucus

21, Pro-life Libertarian-leaning R, NC-1



[ Parent ]
You need a wider perspective
The US economy is growing. Not fast but it is.

The UK, which has followed the most orthodox version of free market economics under the current government has fallen all the way back into a double-dip recession after having mostly avoided the worst in 2008-2009.

The question is not whether the countries running stimulus are doing poorly - they are. But almost every country doing austerity(the UK, Ireland, Germany, Greece) is doing far far worse than every country that went for Keynesian Stimulus(the US, Canada, Australia, China, Hungary).

I was on the boat that Bush was bankrupting America, and I was strongly against the Stimulus in 2009. But having watched the UK(and Europe) I am completely convinced that a switch-over to austerity, especially a mass firing of state employees would be catastrophic.

This does not mean spending needs to be reduced. But cutting  benefits and firing government employees has been demonstrated over the last two years in Europe to do nothing to help the economy, and has tended if it anything to undermine it by increasing unemployment among the best educated workers, and undermining demand.

27 NH-01/London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Tory in the UK, RINO locally


[ Parent ]
I Did not mean to sound so forceful
But I have just been watching the European Center-Right commit suicide, not in the sense of losing one election, but in the sense of driving their poll rankings down to third or fourth and being superseded by Communists and Fascists. Or even falling out of Parliament as in the case of the German Free Democrats.

The best thing that ever happened to Republican party was losing in 2008. Had they won, Hillary would be looking at a 42 state blowout and the GOP nominee might well be in danger of coming in third(esp. if it was McCain with 14% unemployment).

27 NH-01/London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Tory in the UK, RINO locally


[ Parent ]
I think you struck just the right tone
as I have no problem with an advocate pushing their ideas in a civil debate.  

Let me bounce the tennis ball back to you.  If you do austerity, like Greece or Portugal or Spain, and couple it with a business or social atomsphere that drives away commerce what have you accomplished?  There has been partial strikes and threats of general strikes or maybe actual strikes over the last 9 months in the distressed countries of Europe.  I understand that tourist, I am trying to remember the country, were met with trash cans full at the airports.  I believe there was some sort of strike in Spain that closed down all of the publically owned tourist sites (musuems-castles-palaces) and that affects business for months or years.  

If I was a businessman, with capital to place in Europe, I would run from Greece & Spain due to what I preceive as a very unfriendly and uncertain business climate.  

I agree 100% government cuts with no  efforts to push a rebound in private economy is self defeating.  I see that as a major flaw with the Euro zone as UK seems very pro business to me while some countries are less so. I would leery of investing in France right now.  I was amused to read that Hollande thinks massive layoffs will occur after he wins.  Nothing like lowering the retirement age to 60, cutting the work week to 34 hours and raising taxes on businessmen to start laying people off!!!!

So yes the massive stimulus in the USA has got us off the bottom but never has so much stimulus accomplished so little.  Much of our recovery in jobs has been a process of better paying jobs being lost as lower paying jobs are taking their place.  The % of people either working or looking for work continues to decline.  The USA is not so rich that we can see that number decline from 66% (2008)  to 63%(2012)  to  maybe by 60% in  another four years.

So its a weak argument IMO to suggest that since the USA has done less worst then Euro, where we have seen govt cutbacks,  that we should continue our stimulus.  The USA can fund its debt unlike Greece or Spain so we can borrow and spend.  If Greece could borrow a trillion from China it could eliminate unemployment but eventually China will want its money back. That is the key difference between USA and greece.  We can borrow but for how long?

Reagan grew the US economy with his tax cuts because he unleashed the private sector or rather he got out of its way.  That's key.


[ Parent ]
That definition of austerity is amusing
Reminiscent of Orwellian newspeak. Nowadays a country running a budget deficit above 8% of the GDP, like the UK, can be said to be in "austerity" and nobody laughs. Greece? A target deficit above 8% (luckily they'll stay below 10%). Ireland,  above 8%. Portugal, Italy, Spain - all running high deficits (China's target, otoh, is below 2%, similar to the German one).

A few years ago, most of those countries signed treaties obliging them to not run deficits above 3% of the GDP; back then, an 8% deficit was commonly referred as a radically strong Keynesian stimulus.

Actually, these countries "went for Keynesian Stimulus" right after the global financial crisis. That's what got them in trouble - the stimulus didn't work. It actually backfired: the debt caused by the ramp up spending stayed but the economic growth was nowhere to be seen.

Blaming "austerity" for the consequences of those failed expansionary policies is nonsensical. "Austerity", defined as the economic policies those countries are putting in place now, is actually one of those consequences. I mean, what are those countries supposed to do? If an 8% deficit is austerity, how much their governments should borrow to artificially inflate the economy? 15%? 30% of the GDP? Would that be enough? Where would that money come from? Those countries already have colossal public debts - looking at the charts with the evolution of the PB/GDP ratio over the last 7 years is very enlightening, actually.

Additionally, I think the arguments on defense of "austerity" policies are misunderstood. Nobody really believes that countries trying to cut budgetary deficits by imposing restrictive fiscal policies, often pairing higher taxes and reductions on the growth of spending, should be expected to see strong economic growth. Obviously their economies will likely enter in recession and shrink. There are no free lunches though. At some point, the pain is inevitable - like it was for the Swedes in the early 90s or the Kiwis in the 80s.

I also strongly disagree that the UK "has followed the most orthodox version of free market economics". Not even close; but that's another issue.  


[ Parent ]
You realize Ireland and Greece did the Same "Pro-Growth" Fiscal Policies The US has since the 1980s
There is truth to the argument that they built on borrowing-based growth. Actually its not just true of them. The real problem is that everyone, including the US under the Reagonomics everyone here labels "pro-growth" got into trouble not because they ran Keynesian stimulus in bad times, but because they ran debt based growth in good times.

The central assumptions Keynes made is that deficit spending in bad times would be counteracted by running surpluses in good times, which would eventually see governments bouncing back and forth between the black and the red.

The problem is that everyone discovered that if an economic stimulus and debt-based spending softened a recession it could enhance growth during a boom. And the result is that we run large deficits during boom years and larger ones during recessions.

This is not an argument to raise taxes and cut spending during a recession. its an argument to raise taxes during a boom, and potentially cut spending, especially unsustainable state employment at a time when those people can actually get jobs.

What frustrates me is that some conservatives in the US seem to have discovered fiscal prudence in opposition, and have embraced it the same way far too many US political groups embrace anything, wholeheartedly and ideologically without considering what would have been done in the past. The problem with Bush is not that he was somehow too compassionate and moderate and therefore did not pursue "conservative" policies enough or that he was a moderate. The greater problem is that every President going back to Reagan(and before with price controls under Nixon) has tried to buy economic growth by borrowing money, with only the manner in which they tried to buy that short-term growth(tax cuts or spending) differing based on party. The only person who did not completely do this was Clinton in his second term who was unable to do so.

The lesson I draw from this is that the only fiscally prudent policies followed in the last forty years of American politics have been followed because of a nullity of  power deriving from gridlock. I have seen nothing this year that makes me think a GOP trifecta in 2013 would also go for debt based growth, albeit they would cripple it by combining massive layoffs in the state sector with the borrowing, rather than a clumsy stimulus(and the money would probably go to Estate tax repeal or something).

27 NH-01/London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Tory in the UK, RINO locally


[ Parent ]
Keyes himself
He envisioned that during a full business cycle, the govt deficit/surplus would be zero.
He advocated deficit spending during the recession portion, but offsetting surpluses during the expansion.

--
There's not really a lot of history over long term structural deficits (e.g. the government is spending more than it takes in even during expansion years). But before Keyes, it was considered immoral to do so.

--
The usual solutions for governments when debt load becomes too big for the economy are:
1. Currency devaluation (basically wiping out the foreign investors)
2. Inflation (basically wiping out creditors)

42 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.


[ Parent ]
Keynes
Was also active in a political environment in which the orthodox thinking on both left and right was to never run deficits. Both the Labour and subsequent National Party governments saw themselves as "Doctor's Administrations" but in the traditional English view which saw a Doctor's role as sending a patient home to rest in the hope he would get better. The idea of doing anything with patient was very much an American cultural innovation that spread.

Britain and Germany under Brunning followed pretty harsh austerity programs with figures like Lloyd George, Mosley, Churchill looked upon as weird. Their was one young economist who tried to get the trade unions and Social Democrats in Germany to embrace public works and deficit spending. He got laughed out and his program ended up getting picked up by Hitler.

27 NH-01/London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Tory in the UK, RINO locally


[ Parent ]
Besides from the sound effects at the beginning
and the music, this ad is really forced, and looks Washington-strategist style.

[ Parent ]
IN-05: McIntosh with a residency issue?
Drat.

http://www.theindychannel.com/...

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Carl DeMaio for CA-52!


Dan Burton
Correction: Burton's seat is not vacant. IN-05 being vacant would mean Burton resigned. He didn't resign; he just announced his retirement.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Carl DeMaio for CA-52!


IN-02
We need to watch this race closely. Mullen could be strong if we take this for granted and something very unfortunate happens, or his ground game turns out to be very good.

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

If We Do Lose It...
...Are people around here then going to be willing to concede I was right about the IN map?!  ;p

(FTR, I don't think there's much chance we lose IN-02. I'm actually much more worried about IN-08...)  


[ Parent ]
Concede what?
Just about everyone here thought that IN was a poorly done under-reach.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
A Lot of People Defended It...
...as "not so bad". I think I was one of only one or two around here who was outraged by it, and warned it could cost is a couple of seats.  

[ Parent ]
Hmm
I was outraged by it, too. I know others were, as well. I was especially pissed that they didn't free southern Lake and Porter Counties. It's only a little bit less egregious as leaving the Grosse Pointes in MI-13.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Carl DeMaio for CA-52!


[ Parent ]
I defended the IN-08 part
Since there really isn't a ton you can do with that part of the state. If you're going to shore up IN-09, you can't really change IN-08, and vice versa. I'm just glad they shored up one rather than leaving both as they were.

I think pretty much everyone here (and nationally) thought that they made a mistake with IN-02. That district could have easily been a few points safer with some very minor switches.


[ Parent ]
IN-08 Can Be "Fixed"...
...Simply by removing Terre Haute - put TH in IN-04, and then swing both IN-08 and IN-04 in to the western Indi suburbs.

But the IN-02 thing, as RRR points out in this thread, was definitely even worse.

I was happy with what they did in IN-09 though - I think IN-09 is now off the table for IN Dems for the decade.  


[ Parent ]
Spiral-mander
That's right, I remember seeing a couple diaries that did that. I forget how ugly it would have been though, although anything Indiana did would have been cleaner than Illinois or even Ohio.  

[ Parent ]
Exactly the solution I had in mind
I'm working on a series on fantasy-manders, and my IN solution was putting TH in IN-04. It doesn't look that bad:

Photobucket

IN-4: 54.1% McCain 44.8% Obama
IN-8: 54.1% McCain 44.6% Obama  

Male, LA-01

Cassidy, Rounds, Ernst, Handel, Land for Senate!  


[ Parent ]
This Is More Aggressive Than It Needs To Be...
...(probably by a lot). But, yeah - it can be done.

(I gather you were going for the same R+ rating in all the R-leaning districts, which is a nice goal to shoot for, but doesn't need to be achieved down to the decimal place, IMO...)  


[ Parent ]
agreed
Also I think its better to have a rougher approximation.
Difference in projected immigration / out migration over the cycle will dwarf trying to get down to the same 1/10th of one percent.

42 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.

[ Parent ]
Don't feel like opening DRA
But I think all R seats were in the 54-56% McCain range, except IN-09, which is 52.8% McCain.  

Male, LA-01

Cassidy, Rounds, Ernst, Handel, Land for Senate!  


[ Parent ]
IN-08
Bloomington to the 7th shores up the 8th and 9th.

27, R, PA-07.

[ Parent ]
+1
There was NO reason to not give South Bent to Pete Visclosky (bet half of you would have to Google that name; he's been around for two plus decades and is still Mr. Irrelevant, even with a nice spot on Appropriations!) and to therefore free southern Lake and Porter Counties. SMH. Hell, it was even possible to give Elkhart to Visclosky and make the map still look clean.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Carl DeMaio for CA-52!


[ Parent ]
I did Elkhart to Gary
at work today to test out your theory and see if the general public would be able to stomach this without thinking it was a blatant gerrymander. You can make a fairly clean district that is 69% Obama when doing so. Doing so allows Joe Donnelly's old seat to become about 54% McCain. Indiana Republicans dropped the ball on that one. This state should have been 6-2-1 (Bloody 9th being the 1 but still much more Republican). Instead it is 5-2-2.  

27, IL-7, Fiscal Conservative

[ Parent ]
No Question That IN Is The 2nd Worst GOP Map...
...after TN. IN was incompetence. TN was political malpractice though.  

[ Parent ]
Elkhart to IN-01
IN-01 is so freaking frustrating. . . it's a D+8 seat that we'll never, ever win. We should have just packed it like crazy. As I said and as you affirmed, it could have even been quite clean. sigh

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Carl DeMaio for CA-52!


[ Parent ]
FL-redistricting: I remember Terry Lewis from 2000
http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12...

He had a significant role in adjudicating (is that the right word?) the Bush v. Gore recount.

Some of my best friends call me a "Demoncrat"


Boy that takes me back.
If I recall the flow of Bush V Gore from 2000 as Terry Lewis's involvement.

Lewis heard the intial case in Leon county and quickly kicked it up to the Supremes of Florida.  Or maybe the Supremes in Florida kicked it into his court 1st.  Either way the D's were not happy with what Judge Lewis came up with.

The D's appealed to Supreme court and the judges, by split decision, ordered Judge Lewis to oversee a complete recount of those 4 counties.  That was when the caravan of ballots to Leon county was done. It was OJ like with helicopters following the vans to Leon county.

At this point the US Supremes stepped in because the recount of just four counties was whatever it was.  I forget the legal jargon.

I do recall that Terry lewis was narrow in his intial rulings.  


[ Parent ]
MN-2
The other two candidate will honor the endorsement. There will be no primary

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

I was thinking that was the case
in MN2.  I looked over the weekend for news on MN8's DFL convention.  Either I missed it or is it sometime in the future?  

[ Parent ]
Here's the DCCC spot against Kelly:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

(-10.00, -3.49), libertarian socialist, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy."



-- Stanisław Lem


Iowa
The numbers are pretty encouraging all in all. Though part of it is because of the purging.
I'm very confident about Latham and King  vs. Vilsack won't be close.  

26, Male, R, NY-10

Part of it is purging
as kids who came to Iowa, or moved within Iowa, for school during 2006-2008 are rolling off. Plus people move within the state and it takes a while to remove duplicates.  Many states, including Iowa, have their statewide databases up and running.  I think Iowa still has 1.98 million active registered voters.  There will only be 1.5 million votes cast in 2012. So it is not like there is 300K in voters out there to find and register.  95% of the 1.5 million voters who will cast ballots in Iowa are already registered.

I just note that the following four  points.

1st unless something changes, and quickly, the pool of registered voters will be quite a bit more R then in 2008.

2nd the trend of adding GOP voters, party switches and democratic duplicate voters have continued in 2012 in Iowa.  This is all post Nov-December caucus frenzy.

3rd this has mostly happened with very little national GOP effort in Iowa as the state party has not really geared up yet.  For all I know it could be a carryover from the Santorum or Paul or Romney efforts as people who got involved are still out touting the GOP message.  You would think the Obama campaign would be out there doing massive voter registration drives in Iowa. So far the ground game appears all to be on the GOP side.

4th the last PPP poll from last fall was +4D or 39D-35R-26I.  I wonder if it will be 36D-36R now?


[ Parent ]
And here's the NRCC spot against Barber:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

(-10.00, -3.49), libertarian socialist, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy."



-- Stanisław Lem


Love this, from @davidfrum
How policy is debated in DC. If A is true, we might be expected to do B. Since I don't want to do B, A can't be true.

An anti-public union, market-loving moderate.

This always annoys me.
Sometimes I really do think that A is not true, but other times it is just about choosing between different possibilities on where and how to spend money. On smaller questions, this problem doesn't always exist, but larger ones tend to be hampered by it. It's all about assumptions.

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
ND-Sen: Here's the DSCC ad for Heitkamp
it's of the half negative/half positive variety and attempts to undermine Berg's slogan ("Rick Berg knows the North Dakota way"... lame) by saying Heitkamp is the one who REALLY knows the mystic "North Dakota way":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Sometimes I hate politics.

(-10.00, -3.49), libertarian socialist, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy."



-- Stanisław Lem


SC 7- Chad Prosser TV Spot
Gallup Yo-yo continues...
PPP tweets MT senate race is something other than
+2 for Rehberg this time. W/e that means. Maybe +4?  

22, Conservative, NC-02 (SC-04 college) LUKE 18:5 is the official GOTV verse for 2014! -    

Ray Flynn for Scott Brown
Could be a pretty big deal in boosting his margins in Southie and other white ethnic parts of Boston. http://thehill.com/blogs/ballo...

R - MD-7

This is a good endorsement


Saint Paul (MN-4)  

[ Parent ]
Huge deal
Warren is going to significantly outpoll Coakley to the north and west of Boston, basically from Brookline to Framingham, and everything in the trapezoid above those in Middlesex and southern Essex. Brown needs to milk every vote he can out of the blue-collar, Catholic strongholds. If he can carry Southie and Quincy again and hold on to most of the mill towns in the north central he'll be in good shape.

[ Parent ]
IN-8
A decent profile of the Bucshon-Risk primary. Good to see Bucshon taking it seriously, as he was one of the ones I thought was most likely to be caught napping. http://thehill.com/blogs/ballo...

R - MD-7

Jeff Flake
How do you guys think can Flake seal the deal or at least minimize the chances of an upset victory by Cardon? I really, really like Flake.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Carl DeMaio for CA-52!


[ Parent ]
isn't he up by about 60 in the polls?
all he has to do is take the challenge relatively seriously and he should be fine.

Age 21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)
politicohen.com.
Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal but not progressive.  For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.

Berkeley Class of 2015.


[ Parent ]
MA-Sen
Warren admitted to listing herself as a minority while teaching at UT Austin and Penn.

http://www.bostonherald.com/ne...

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Carl DeMaio for CA-52!


I'm starting to think
Mass dems couldn't have picked a worse candidate for this seat.  Good thing, too.  I hope she sucks up a ton of the KOS money, draws a multitude of national attention to the race, and gets absolutely humiliated on election day.

Saint Paul (MN-4)  

[ Parent ]
Agree
The Mass Dems would have been better off running Coakley again.

28, Republican, PA-6

[ Parent ]
worst?
1) she can fundraise like crazy
2) their other options included Setti Warren and Mike Capuano.

I think only the LG (Murray?) would've been a better nominee.

MA Dems, for all their success, have little star power.

Age 21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)
politicohen.com.
Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal but not progressive.  For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.

Berkeley Class of 2015.


[ Parent ]
money has diminishing returns
See Meg Whitman.

Any Massachusetts Dem starts off with a high enough floor that their best course of action might have been some generic joe who kept his mouth shut for 10 months.

27, R, PA-07.


[ Parent ]
Murray
is absolutely not a strong candidate for anything now. Google "crash murray" and you'll find out why if you don't know already.

I second Ryan's assertion that Coakley would've been the best candidate. She's totally rehabbed her image.

R - MD-7


[ Parent ]
Coakley's Flaws
Have always been in that she's a bad politician, not in that she's a bad person. In fact, she is probably one of the most honest and respected figures in the state.

2010 really did not play to her strengths. I am not sure this year would have either, but she's someone who is quite difficult to attack beyond arguing that she is career-centric to the point of obsession. But so was Reilly and he would have been much better than Deval.

27 NH-01/London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Tory in the UK, RINO locally


[ Parent ]
Worst might be a hyperbole
But she clearly isn't the best.  I don't think she has the political skills to live up to the hype that was created for her.

Tim Murray would have been a better nominee.  Lynch would have been a shoe-in for the seat.

Saint Paul (MN-4)  


[ Parent ]
Lynch for US Senate
Had Lynch have run, I feel like the Berkshires, MetroWest, yuppie parts of Boston, Cambridge, and the North Shore would have had a collective seizure/hissy fit/spitting out their lattes all over the leather seats of the limousine they're being driven in moment (once they found out Lynch was pro-life and culturally conservative, at the very least in rhetoric and disposition). A strong primary from some leftist would have potentially toppled Lynch, in my opinion. Lynch knows it, too. It's why he didn't run.

From IL-09, Living in PA-07.

Carl DeMaio for CA-52!


[ Parent ]
Oh I agree a primary would have been next to impossible for him
But it's not like Metro west, Cambridge, etc would be voting for Brown if Lynch somehow did get on the ballot.  They'd either leave the Senate slot blank, go third party, or cast it unenthusiastically for Lynch.  But Lynch would probably decimate Brown's strength in Southie, the South Shore, and places like Winthrop.  I can't see Lynch losing a statewide general election.  The state is simply too Democratic for a Democrat to lose unless there is a large defection of Lynch/Flynn type Dems to the Republican (how Brown won and how he probably will win again).

Saint Paul (MN-4)  

[ Parent ]
Not necessarily
It could have very well been a re-run of Weld-Silber '90.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
I think those days are over
Weld had to get more votes out of Middlesex than Silber did out of Suffolk, which I think is impossible for a Republican today. Even against Lynch, Brown's strength was going to come from his 2010 coalition, not from the old Rockefeller base that's been gone for a generation.

[ Parent ]
With a pro-life D against a pro-choice R
it's still possible. The areas within a 5 mile radius of Walden pond are so culturally liberal that the thought of voting for Lynch would viscerally turn the stomachs of even some of the most hard core economic liberals. You'd likely see Brown move sharply left on social issues (he definitely would've taken the other position on the Blunt Amendment, for instance).

Another option is that the outrage might have been enough to attract a viable leftist 3rd party candidate (Stein?) and deliver him/her 5-10%, which would be a giant present for Brown.

R - MD-7


[ Parent ]
I see Coakley either going two ways
winning narrowly because of the Democratic nature of the state or losing by a not so close margin because she turned out to be a not so great candidate.

SC1-Charleston

[ Parent ]
It's not going to be a 60-40 Brown Coakley result,
absent live boy/dead girl happenings. The Dem floor is just that high.

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
Jeb for VP!
Since 1928, no Republican ticket without a Nixon or Bush has won. So, looks like its Jeb or Chris/Ed Cox  

Male, LA-01

Cassidy, Rounds, Ernst, Handel, Land for Senate!  


Don't forget George P.
Jeb's kid -- furthermore, he's just past the constitutional age (36 now), and is also the son of a Mexican-American :)

(well, maybe 2032 will be a better year for him...)

Some of my best friends call me a "Demoncrat"


[ Parent ]
Justice Department preclears Florida congressional map
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