Re: Promoting Crazy

1

Silver currently gives Obama about a 75% chance of victory which seems reasonable. So Obama is the favorite but not a lock.

Obama has liabilities also like the current state of the nation which looked at objectively is not all that great (I realize this is hardly his sole responsibility).


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 7:00 AM
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Short of some scandal erupting at the last minute or some foreign policy horrorshow like Desert One I don't see Obama losing.

Romney could do well in the debates if he stays on the attack and avoids trying to defend things like his tax plan.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 7:27 AM
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1: Shearer is making sense.

Fallows handicapped the debates in The Atlantic last month. Can't find a link.

My take is that Romney will have to go with a high-beta strategy in the debates, which gives him a small chance of turning the tide, at the price of a larger chance of blowing it big-time. In pundit terminology, he has to try to shake up the race. It's either that, or pray every night for an exogenous crisis (Israeli attack on Iran? Financial meltdown in Europe?) that does it for him.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 7:39 AM
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So in Massachusetts Romney debated Shannon O'Brien and Teddy Kennedy, I guess? Shannon O'Brien was essentially awful, the Martha Coakley of her day, and if Romney "won" either of the debates with Kennedy it sure didn't keep him from getting obliterated at the ballots.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 7:47 AM
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Short of some scandal erupting at the last minute or some foreign policy horrorshow like Desert One I don't see Obama losing.

And, seriously, what are the chances of him getting involved in some ill-advised military adventure in Iran between now and November?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 7:49 AM
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high beta strategy

Is that like this beta? How does that apply to politics? I don't speak your fancy stock language.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 7:54 AM
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After swift-boat ads and gay marriage amendments seemingly turned a close election in which the incumbent (1) was losing a war he had been shown to lie to initiate and (2) been caught in a massive torture scandal, I take nothing for granted, especially since the objective state of most people's lives ain't so great now.

If Romney finally hits on a meme in the debates that captures the failures of the last four years in the imaginations of the public, he could easily gain momentum to make it too close to call until election day.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 7:54 AM
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I don't speak your fancy stock language.

OTOH it's the only language Romney does speak with any fluency.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:04 AM
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He does seem to have swung less to the center than candidates typically do for the general election - there's the ascendance of the crazies and Kochs in the party, of course, but I wonder if it's also partly because the base doesn't trust him enough to do that.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:10 AM
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Barring a major Obama meltdown, Romney has to run a flawless campaign between now and the election to have any chance of winning, and nothing I've seen of the 2012 Romney makes me think he's remotely capable of doing that.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:11 AM
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7.1: I know things are supposed to be happening faster now, but short of some real-world giant event, I don't think there's time for what you're describing. The Swift Boaters started in the spring, or even earlier. If there were a meme that could flip this, it'd be not just on the horizon, but actually significant already.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:12 AM
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Romney has to run a flawless campaign between now and the election to have any chance of winning

FiveThirtyEight is still giving him a 25% chance of winning, as Shearer pointed out above. This still sounds shockingly high to me. But I think I trust Nate Silver's extrapolations more than my own intuition.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:15 AM
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some real-world giant event

I will say here, though I have no evidence to back it up, that it seems likely to me that somebody actually tried to engineer that, but it's run out of legs. Which is no comfort to Ambassador Stevens or his loved ones.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:17 AM
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13: Also Bibi's thumb on the scales, trying to make McManus's brain explode, Scanners-style to get everyone in Washington to agree that the only Serious thing to do is bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran. He's backed off a bit because he's evil, not stupid, and he can tell that Romney is going to lose.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:25 AM
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Huh. I feel naive now -- it absolutely hadn't occurred to me that the embassy attack might have been an intentional attempt to ratfuck the presidential election.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:25 AM
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Oh yeah, I hadn't made the connection to the election. I'd assumed the assholes behind the trailer were just trying to start the war of the end times.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:29 AM
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Romney got creamed when he debated Ted Kennedy in their Senate race.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:29 AM
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They probably were going for a twofer.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:29 AM
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I endorse 10; Romney's just not a very natural retail politician and his team has been (somewhat surprisingly to me) fairly inept. Although admittedly when you're losing everything you try has the stench of loserdom, how is it that Romney's campaign is $10 million in debt and he's fundraising in September?

Someone with more appeal to the base and better political chops would have had more maneuvering room and could have made this a closer race, I think, but all those people were poorly positioned to run or smart enough to know 2012 wouldn't be the pushover idiots like Bill Kristol were asserting it would be.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:30 AM
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I thought the CW was now that the attacks on the embassies had been planned for Sept. 11 in advance, and that the movie was just a post hoc thing that people used to through fuel on the fire.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:31 AM
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Romney got creamed when he debated Ted Kennedy in their Senate race.

4: I'm told that Shannon O'brien was worse than Coakley.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:32 AM
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It's nearly impossible to get creamed in the debates, as has been mentioned here before. As long as they just regurgitate some memorized spiel that's at least tangentially related to the question they'll get a passing grade.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:32 AM
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The embassy attacks could have been very bad for Obama had Romney not interjected himself into the media narrative in such colossally inept fashion.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:33 AM
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Furthermore, there's starting to be some narrative momentum in the mainstream media that Obama is the winner and Romney's campaign is badly managed, etc, and people like to be on the winning side, so such proclamations themselves give Obama more steam.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:34 AM
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The embassy attacks would have been horrible for Obama if the attackers had been found with a two inch square of papyrus saying that Obama had a wife.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:35 AM
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22: Ted Kennedy's line about how much his family had sacrificed for public service in politics was pretty powerful.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:36 AM
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25: Not only was Obama born in Kenya, he was born in the 4th century! And here's a fragment of the original birth certificate (in Coptic, with a raised seal) to prove it!


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:40 AM
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Also, the GOP's "cheat in Ohio and Pennsylvania" strategy seems to be falling apart.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:41 AM
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Plenty of time for weird shit to go down. And there's likely some Bradley effect in Ohio, Virginia, and maybe Florida.

No model would have predicted that enough elderly Jewish women to make a difference would have voted Buchanan in 2000.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:43 AM
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No model would have predicted that enough elderly Jewish women to make a difference would have voted Buchanan in 2000.

Chaos theory tells us that when a butterfly ballot flaps its wings in Dade County, it can have far-reaching effects.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:47 AM
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Plenty of time for weird shit to go down.

That, I believe, is why Nate Silver is still giving Romney a 25% chance of winning. Not impossible, but everything would have to break in his favor, and luck doesn't seem to be smiling on him right now.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:48 AM
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In Va, we have the inept George Allen running for Senate against Tim Kaine. Plus, the GOP has been doing everything possible to piss off women and energize them to get out and vote.

So, even without Romney screw ups, the GOP has been faltering.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:50 AM
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||

OT* Felix Salmon recently linked to MY's take on the class discussion. It's mostly fine and feels like it pads out some basically banal observations, but this line just sticks in my craw:

When a good friend of mine from high school left a philosophy Ph.D. program and took a job at a hedge fund, he didn't radically alter his position in the American class structure. That's all common sense, and I don't think anyone really denies it, but it's worth taking seriously.

I think I know what he's trying to say there -- that the person who went to an elite prep school and, presumably, undergraduate program, was always part of the upper class -- but the phrasing is frustrating. It implies that working at a hedge fund and being in a Philosophy PhD program are equivalent, and I think there are plenty of people here who could contradict that.

* This would be on topic in the previous thread about Class, but it's been bugging me enough that I'll put it in the active political thread instead.

|>

To the original post, I think H-G is mostly correct but the important counter-point is that study in which people who were informed about details of the Ryan budget flat out didn't believe they were true. Don't underestimate, "we are reasonable people and of course we won't try to cause widespread suffering" as a strategy for making the debates a tie. Of course a tie may not be good enough for Romney but I'd guess that if he has a shot it would be based more on their advertising money than on the debates.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:51 AM
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Furthermore, there's starting to be some narrative momentum in the mainstream media that Obama is the winner and Romney's campaign is badly managed, etc

Lately I've started to feel encouraged by seeing the press actually do their job and note that howling lies are, in fact, lies.

Then I remind myself that their lack of deference to Romney is probably just driven by the pre-packaged "Romney is in trouble" narrative, and the press's behavior is not essentially different from when they were all following the "Gore is an egghead, Bush is a genuine guy" narratve 12 years ago.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:52 AM
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Plenty of time for weird shit to go down.

I don't really agree with this - barely anybody is undecided. Voting is about to start in a lot of key states. (Voter turnout is super important, but that's different from saying there's plenty of time for something nutty to happen.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:53 AM
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To the original post, I think H-G is mostly correct but ...

Awww, someone read the OP!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:54 AM
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35: As we get closer and closer to the election, the Inverse Square Law of Weird Shit Going Down applies.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:09 AM
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The Inverse Squished Shit Law Is Weird Going Down?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:12 AM
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Weird shit is gravity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:12 AM
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Don't get used to it.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:13 AM
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I'm filled with a strange desire for candy corn.


Posted by: Gerald Ford | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:14 AM
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A strange desire that my subconscious apparently insists I hide from all others.


Posted by: Gerald Ford | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:17 AM
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That, I believe, is why Nate Silver is still giving Romney a 25% chance of winning.

Right. If you click the Now-Cast tab, Silver gives Obama a 94.4% chance were the election being held today.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:23 AM
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As the inevitability of a Romney loss becomes the conventional wisdom (and I believe it will, the closer we get to Election Day), I'm curious to see whether a bunch of GOP voters decide it isn't worth bothering to go stand in line to cast a futile vote and start really damaging down-ticket Republicans as a result.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:26 AM
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In vaguely related horrible political stories, this is watercooler gossip rather than something I have a media source for, but someone in Austin lynched a chair labeled "Obama" in their front yard?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:28 AM
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struck by how relaxed, charismatic and smart [Michael Steele] seemed

He's on MSNBC a lot these days, and he always comes off as a very likable and insightful guy. Hardly the clownish figure he often appeared when he was RNCing it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:30 AM
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45: http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/12756/republican-lynches-empty-chair-in-racist-presidential-effigy-in-northwest-austin


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:31 AM
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Is that like this beta? How does that apply to politics? I don't speak your fancy stock language.

Exactly. A high beta strategy shoots for higher volatility, in the hope that the market will move your way and give you a larger return. If the market moves against you, your downside is greater. A low beta strategy is lower risk, lower potential reward.

(Something similar happens with a highly leveraged strategy, but the mechanism is different.)


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:32 AM
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whether a bunch of GOP voters decide it isn't worth bothering to go stand in line to cast a futile vote and start really damaging down-ticket Republicans as a result.

Oooh, that's enticing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:34 AM
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41/42: Appropriate the Gerald Ford should show up in a thread about whether a sitting President can blow his election chances in a debate with the challenger.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:35 AM
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45, 47: Now that's the kind of Weird Shit that Romney really, really does not need at this point.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:36 AM
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There's nothing Romney can say or do that will cause him to lose any state carried by McCain. Ohio and Florida are both close enough that no one should be complacent, and in both the electoral machinery is in Republican hands. And I'm serious about Bradley.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:43 AM
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What do you mean by "Bradley effect"?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:51 AM
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Oooh, that's enticing.

More enticement for you.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:53 AM
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53: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_effect


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:54 AM
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There is literally nothing a Republican can do to lose a debate. Conservatives were fawning over Palin's word fog performance. If Gerald Ford made that mistake today, it would be defended by a horde of pundits claiming he meant that Communism can never crush the human spirit, and Carter was a monster for disagreeing.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:56 AM
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Bradley effect


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:56 AM
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55: Ah, I had heard of that, but I was thinking of the wrong Bradley.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:57 AM
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57 is really more of a Bradley after effect.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:00 AM
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53: Yes, but Romney could win all the '08 McCain states plus Indiana (which he probably will win), N.C. (which he has a good chance of winning), and Ohio, Florida, Iowa, and Colorado as well and still lose. He could conceivably win some of those, but it's looking less and less likely that he'll win them all.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:06 AM
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60 to 52, not 53.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:11 AM
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I thought that the current take was that the Bradley effect didn't happen anymore, if it ever did.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:11 AM
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Romney will win California but lose the election, both popular and Electoral College vote.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:11 AM
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Romney will win the election, but when he realizes his presidential salary is taxable as regular income he'll decline to serve.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:17 AM
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I wonder if it's also partly because the base doesn't trust him enough to do that.

Everyone likes to blame the base for Romeny's troubles, but surely at some point he is responsible for crafting a political strategy that appeals to a majority of the country while maintaining the support of the base. I mean, who else was the base going to nominate? What exactly is their leverage?

It's astonishing to me that behind closed doors, when Romney is being honest about his real campaign strategy, he basically writes off large numbers of real Republican voters because he can't imagine how a political platform based on tax cuts for the rich could have widespread popular appeal. What an inept loser.


Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:18 AM
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I mean, who else was the base going to nominate?

Tanned, rested, and ready, bitches!


Posted by: Herman Cain | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:20 AM
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63:Always the jokester. I remember, but everybody else has had my comments blocked since 2009, so won't notice when I welch.

Most fucking depressing and dispiriting election of my entire life, and I remember 68, 72, 80, 00, and 04. It's like it's 1932, we have Wilkie running against Dewey, and everybody but is just incredibly excited and interested in the race.

As far as gaffey Romney. unlike Obama who hasn't given any money or support to Congressional Democrats, Republicans do care about downticket races, and Romney's job from here on out will be to provide red meat to the base to inspire turnout.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:21 AM
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Did I steal your prediction? I didn't realize.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:23 AM
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52 - The last five polls of Ohio are Obama +7, Obama +1, Obama +1 (Rasmussen), Obama +7, and Obama +5. I think Obama is probably doing better in Ohio than he is nationally.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:25 AM
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48: Why not just say high variance?

What's the underlying quantity we should think of Romney's success as correlated with, such that he can scale his Beta factor up or down?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:25 AM
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Most fucking depressing and dispiriting election of my entire life

Somebody didn't live in North Carolina for Jesse Helms' openly racist Senate campaigns.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:26 AM
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68:Back when Obama was deporting half of California and trying to jail the other half on med maryjane charges, I bet some moderate around here he would lose the state. Don't remember if I got a point spread.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:28 AM
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I was there for the end of his last term, but missed any campaigns.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:28 AM
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73 to 71.

72: I really didn't remember.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:29 AM
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Molly Laich on Twitter: I'm just afraid Mitt Romney is going to come unglued and something really bad is going to happen


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:34 AM
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If only more of us could have opportunities to make money betting against the political instincts of bob mcmanus.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:36 AM
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I worry about tightening leading to a comeback narrative.

Romney will get a point or two back from the debates, even if he plays safe. He does ok when he leave the top hat and monocle at home.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:38 AM
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44 is the great hope. Having the Republican base affirmatively dispirited could flip the House.

In general, both sides have known that this was very much more a base turnout election than a convince the undecideds election. Almost everyone has long since made up their minds. If Romney can keep the Obama turnout low, his base turnout high, and swing the roughly 2-3% of the electorate in swing states that's genuinely undecided, he wins. With reasonably high Dem turnout, Obama has been a lock for the entire campaign season. That's why the gaffes matter -- it's not so much that they matter to the few persuadable people, but they help not very motivated Republican voters to stay home, and the Democratic voters to come out and vote.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:42 AM
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72 -- that was me! I don't think I gave you a spread before.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:44 AM
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71: Harvey Gantt was my first ever political donation.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:46 AM
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71: Harvey Gantt was my first ever political donation.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:46 AM
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And your second.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:48 AM
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No, really guys, he was.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:48 AM
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Every time I see the name "Harvey Gantt" it takes me a minute to remember he isn't Two-Face.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:50 AM
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That's why the gaffes matter

They're "Kinsley gaffes." A month from now, when Nate Silver says he isn't gonna bother with it anymore, pretend your job will be to protect Congresspersons in Swing States, to prevent a 2008 coattails.

I think red meat works better than sanity. McCain came out against the bailout, didn't he? And Sarah Palin.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:51 AM
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The California recall election was extraordinarily dispiriting, yet also hilarious. Particularly the "Cruz Bustamante is a Mexican irredentist/radical who will turn California into Aztlan" meme which was my introduction to the political blogosphere. I may be waxing a bit personal.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:52 AM
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I also assume that is what Pawlenty will be doing in DC, churning money to Congressional Campaigns.

If we had a Democrat in the White House, this could have been a transformative re-alignment election.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:56 AM
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I may be waxing a bit personal.

TMI.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:57 AM
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"Bit personal" is like "bend sinister".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 11:05 AM
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People just don't like Romney.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 12:34 PM
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90: huh, that's amazing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 12:39 PM
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delurking to ask here, as I think this is a mineshafty sort of question:

How much is fun work worth to you? In the process of changing jobs and thinking about this a lot, as it looks like choosing between financial stability with somewhat plodding work on the one side, vs really interesting work that will pay lousy and probably eat my life for the next few years (with an outside chance of riches at the end)


Posted by: ATM | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 12:49 PM
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I'm actually not surprised. I'd bet that people don't dislike him terribly intensely, but there just aren't a lot of reasons to like him personally unless you're a Mormon or a very rich businessman, and those are both numerically fairly small groups.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 12:49 PM
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92: It's worth lots, if you're sure, but I'd think hard about whether you can really tell which job will be more interesting on the front end. You might be able to depending on the particular circumstances, but I think it's often harder than you'd think.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 12:51 PM
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92: I wouldn't underestimate the "eat my life" factor. Work that is fun and satisfying can be a great thing, but lots of stuff that is fun in bite size pieces is much less so for 70 hours a week. Especially if you anticipate resenting the low salary.


Posted by: Osgood Yousbad | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 12:58 PM
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94: agreed it's often hard. I have some pretty good info on some of the particular scenarios (and dozens of hours interviewing, which helps.

I'm sort of more interested here in the general case though, how people value this for themselves.


Posted by: AMTer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:00 PM
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94: agreed it's often hard. I have some pretty good info on some of the particular scenarios (and dozens of hours interviewing, which helps.

I'm sort of more interested here in the general case though, how people value this for themselves.


Posted by: AMTer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:00 PM
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My greatest interests are in plodding and being poor, so I don't understand the question.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:06 PM
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Apparently fun work is extremely important to me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:07 PM
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"Take your passion, and make it happen. Pictures come alive, you can dance right through your life."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:09 PM
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Moby that's "take your pants off". Way wrong!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:10 PM
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Oh, I was reading backwards and took AMTer as someone talking about paying the Alternative Minimum Tax.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:11 PM
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I place an extremely high value on fun. Once your basic needs are met, fun is the only reward that you get to keep.

Also, value present-day fun more than future fun. You can have present-day fun, and make future fun when you get there. But if you forgo present-day fun you can never get it back, and then you'll have had less fun over your entire life.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:13 PM
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Megan didn't get the message of "The Ant and the Grasshopper" very well.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:15 PM
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Or I assume middle-class privilege.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:16 PM
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The Ant and the grasshopper and the cricket with a good education plus a solid work history.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:21 PM
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That cricket should prioritize fun, I tell you.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:27 PM
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I wonder how well Romney would do nationally if he had a sane script. If, say, during his governorship he had switched parties and ran as a centrist, pro-business, but open to healthcare reform Democrat.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:29 PM
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fun is the only reward that you get to keep

Along with all the office supplies you can steal.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:33 PM
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Our office manager doesn't order anything in quantity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:36 PM
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Maybe I shouldn't have showed her a picture of the home entertainment center I built from toner cartridges.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:38 PM
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fun is the only reward that you get to keep

you can't burn it to keep yourself warm in your dotage.

unlike office supplies.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:39 PM
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Burning toner cartridges would probably bring your dotage to a swift and noxious end.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:44 PM
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I will never undervalue again the potential for fun inherent in a steady paycheck.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:48 PM
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I will never undervalue again the potential for fun inherent in a steady paycheck.

The potential for fun inherent in a steady paycheck doesn't even begin to compare to the potential for fun inherent in being independently wealthy.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:51 PM
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Meaning: I think everyone is undervaluing the "outside chance of riches at the end".


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:52 PM
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the potential for fun inherent in being independently wealthy

This is one area in which Romney is clearly not living up to his full potential.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:54 PM
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Someday I'll have enough money to drive a car with a dog on top of it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:57 PM
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116: Sure, that's a factor. These are startups though, valuing a stock grant or options too highly is a common error.

Realistically, there is always good chance the equity won't be worth a damn thing.

However, it's a significant enough %age that if any kind of exit happens, I should see something. And these guys have a decent track record. So say a reasonable chance that this would cover 3-5 years worth of pay disparity. And a much smaller chance that it amounts to actual life changing amounts of money.


Posted by: ATMer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:59 PM
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116: Sure, that's a factor. These are startups though, valuing a stock grant or options too highly is a common error.

Realistically, there is always good chance the equity won't be worth a damn thing.

However, it's a significant enough %age that if any kind of exit happens, I should see something. And these guys have a decent track record. So say a reasonable chance that this would cover 3-5 years worth of pay disparity. And a much smaller chance that it amounts to actual life changing amounts of money.


Posted by: ATMer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 1:59 PM
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Whatever you do, AMTer, do it twice.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 2:00 PM
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ATMer, I'd suggest it really depends on how enthusiastic you are about the project. In three years, when it all falls apart, do you think you'll say, "Shit, I just wasted three years," or "Well, that was an experience. Time for the next thing."

I vote generally on the "follow your passion" side. But is this something you're passionate about?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 2:05 PM
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Working at a startup that's falling apart is pretty sucky. Make sure to flee if they start talking about, e.g., completely changing their business model in the next three days in order to secure another month's worth of bridge financing. He says, from bitter experience.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 2:06 PM
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I'm pretty strongly (increasingly so) in favor of locally (in time) optimizing the fun-job factor and not worrying too much about the long-term outcome.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 2:07 PM
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I am currently debating the whole "how important is fun" thing as I apply for a job that's significantly less fun than my current (evaporating) one but pays insane amounts of money. I doubt I'll even get called for an interview, but if they offer it to me I think I'll have to take it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 2:07 PM
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Or this could be post-hoc rationalization.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 2:08 PM
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How much money is "insane"? I'm not sure that was covered in the recent thread.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 2:08 PM
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Startup work is fun as long as the big money crunch doesn't come. I did it for six months and would gladly do it again if I could. It's exciting. Have a bail out plan ready and go for it, I say.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 2:09 PM
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Enough to eventually have in the low five figures for retirement.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 2:10 PM
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120: well, I know next to no facts about this particular situation, but in general: your expected value of total compensation from the start-up is likely to be significantly higher than your expected value of the total compensation at the safe job, but odds are better than even that the upside payout at the start-up doesn't materialize. (But the odds are better than just an "outside chance".) So, if you can afford the gamble, it's probably a better financial bet to take it, all things considered, but obviously if you can't afford the gamble then don't take it, because it's a big gamble.

The extra fun you'd have at work is gravy. (The extra hours you'd put in are a real drawback, though, unless it's really something you're sure you'd love.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 2:10 PM
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126: So you are doing experiments with some chance of causing the end of the universe.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 2:15 PM
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127: To me it's $250,000/yr and up or thereabouts. It's quantities of money I'd have a very hard time spending.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 2:17 PM
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So I was trying to focus on the way people value "fun" rather than the tradeoffs in startup work, which is probably an interesting separate discussion.

FWIW though: three of the companies I'm talking to are startups, two are household name type tech companies, and the rest largish but in a niche.

I've worked in startups enough times before to have a very good idea of what it looks like, FWIW.


Posted by: ATMer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 2:26 PM
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quantities of money I'd have a very hard time spending

Let me know if you need any help with this.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 2:26 PM
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It's quantities of money I'd have a very hard time spending.

The Unfogged Cooperative Retirement House needs a major investor...


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 2:26 PM
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To me it's $250,000/yr and up or thereabouts. It's quantities of money I'd have a very hard time spending.

I think you'd be up for the challenge.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 2:26 PM
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re:130

EV of this type is hard to do correctly, but yes, of course it would have to be higher. Otherwise there isn't much point (from purely financial point of view).

But the "outside chance" wasn't for payoff of any kind, but for truly big return. Most scenarios realistically don't look like that, but the chance for (low) 7 figures at exit does exist.


Posted by: ATMer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 2:31 PM
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Oh, another thing that makes this a mineshafty sort of discussion. Startup pay may be pretty bad, but academic pay can make it look pretty good.


Posted by: ATMer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 2:33 PM
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Obviously you should take the start-up job, since you're equally obviously in a field that wants to employ people in things like start-up jobs so if it sucks you can leave and go back to SafeCo. It sounds like you don't have a lot of dependents or other situations that would make you risk-averse, so go for it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 2:50 PM
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139 is a good example of how I completely failed to keep this a discussion of the problem of valuing "fun"


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 3:05 PM
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139 is a good example of how I completely failed to keep this a discussion of the problem of valuing "fun"

But your original phrasing was about the problem of valuing fun in the context of choosing between "financial stability" and "fun" in the form of more interesting work. The point of the EV comment is that, unless you have reason to highly value "stability" (a family to support, etc.), all arrows are pointing in the same direction here. "More fun" is on the same side of the line as "higher expected payout". So the relevant question isn't how highly you value fun, it's how highly you value stability.

Personally, I value fun a lot.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 3:19 PM
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141: true, I probably should have worded 140 more like "how I failed to keep it a general question of how people evaluate this tradeoff" as against "what should ATMer do"


Posted by: ATMer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 3:22 PM
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141: true, I probably should have worded 140 more like "how I failed to keep it a general question of how people evaluate this tradeoff" as against "what should ATMer do"


Posted by: ATMer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 3:22 PM
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I don't understand the question.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 3:27 PM
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139 is a good example of how I completely failed to keep this a discussion of the problem of valuing "fun"

The other problem is that the relationship of "fun" to work is different for different people. I value "fun" quite highly, and my work matches my definition of "fun" often enough for me to be pleased, but I'm not sure that it would match most people's definition of "fun."

(my revealed preferences are, apparently, for work which is challenging and requires effort, but which is relatively modest in terms of hours worked -- I go home exhausted a lot of days, but I go home exhausted at 5:00. This isn't a freakish preference, by any means, but it wouldn't be everybody's choice).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 3:29 PM
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Personally, I value fun a lot.

And yet when describing your major contribution to humanity, a genuinely novel human sex act, you declared it to not be fun.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 3:31 PM
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To the OP: debates are unlikely to have a major impact on the race either way.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 3:33 PM
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Is this thread dead enough that I can pass along the news that it appears that the Germans have been poisoning the bees? Reached for comment, Jews the world over remarked, "Well, yeah. D'uh!"


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 4:23 PM
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Haven't read all the comments, but I'm wondering for ATMer:

1) How unpleasant is the $$ job? Just pales in comparison to the fun job? If it was your only choice, would you have reservations, or is it just the contrast?

2) Do you have dependents? Do you have a mental timeline under which you'll have dependents X years in the future?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 4:25 PM
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||

Man, Scott Brown is just a dick. He really is.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 4:29 PM
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150: pickup ran you off the road again? It might not have been him, you know.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 4:32 PM
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OT: I have just disassembled my oven.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 4:35 PM
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Costs $70 to fuel up that truck! He wouldn't never vote for a tax raise. You know who would? Injuns!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 4:35 PM
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It is hard to figure out to what degree my bias leads me to think that Warren is just creaming him in this debate. She's calm, clear, and thoughtfully explanatory. He's a thuggish douche.

But, you know, lotta people like a thuggish douche.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 4:36 PM
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But, you know, lotta people like a thuggish douche.

I'll leave it for Halford to make the obvious joke about the people of the Commonwealth.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 4:38 PM
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Oh, Scott Brown is undeniably relying on the Masshole Gambit this election.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 4:39 PM
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The thing is, from what I've seen, Brown is a really good candidate. Not a good person, mind you, but someone who's really good at retail politics. And given the bag of crap that the GOP has handed him -- here's an insane mixture of policies sure to offend a broad cross-section of the electorate! have fun! -- he's very good at being a Republican.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 4:40 PM
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Also, at this point, all of my money is going to two races: Brown-Warren and Lungren-Bera.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 4:43 PM
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157 was my thought as well, but he doesn't seem to be fighting from behind very well recently. But this is a situation where I have zero trust in my instincts since, you know, thoughtful, intellectual, female professor? Who doesn't like them, right?!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 4:43 PM
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159 sums up my problem as well. I can't imagine anyone voting for someone other than Warren. She's genetically engineered to be my fantasy candidate. But that almost certainly means she'll lose.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 4:44 PM
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I gotta get involved in Lungren-Bera. It would be so very satisfying to get rid of Lungren.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 4:47 PM
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All of the recent talk about Dems taking the House smacks of overconfidence, I think, but it's a delightful daydream nevertheless. Anyway, for that to happen, Lungren has to lose.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 4:51 PM
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160: Yes. It's like all the tv shows I love being canceled.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 5:00 PM
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Anyhow, I'll be curious to hear what the bloviating idiots say, but I thought she acquitted herself very well tonight.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 5:01 PM
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I can't imagine anyone voting for someone other than Warren.

Me neither, but I can offer that a month or two ago when I talked to my brother (who's in Mass.) about this, he was only vaguely aware of Warren, and when I said that there was no question about it, one simply must support Warren unreservedly, he remarked that "Brown seems okay; he doesn't vote the party line with Republicans; he's more of an Independent." I imagine there are a lot of Mass. voters like that.

Now, if Brown comes out with some hideously anti-gay sentiments, it'll be a different story ....

But I haven't been following how the respective Warren and Brown campaigns have been progressing up there. Maybe a lot has happened since a month ago, besides the silly 'Is she or isn't she an Injun?' hullabaloo.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 5:02 PM
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Phineas and Ferb is still on, and that's all that matters. Perry 4evah.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 5:02 PM
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166 to 165 and 163.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 5:03 PM
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I'll be curious to hear what the bloviating idiots say

Sorry, I didn't watch the debate.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 5:44 PM
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As long as Warren gave off no whiff of teh Shrill, she can't possibly have alienated any undecided Mass. voters. (It's been occurring to me that my brother, who's the only real life person in Mass. I have to go on -- besides you all, of course -- really hates shrill.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 5:55 PM
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155.2 -- oh all right.

But, you know, lotta people like a thuggish douche.

No, no. Kevin Garnett, Curt Schilling, and Roger Clemens are swell guys.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:03 PM
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Oven still in pieces. Problem beyond amateur repair.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:07 PM
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My heart's not really in the sports banter, though. Did you know that since MEGATRADE the Dodgers have had the second worst offense in baseball. ARGH. God bless Massachusetts.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:11 PM
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Sox just clinched their first losing season since '97, so there you go.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:12 PM
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162

All of the recent talk about Dems taking the House smacks of overconfidence, ...

Intrade gives the Dems a 25%+ chance at taking the House.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:14 PM
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On the bright side, there are two guys sitting next to each other, one drinking Jameson and one Bushmill.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:14 PM
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175 -- I'm told one is favored by Catholics, the other by Protestants. But I never remember which is which.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:16 PM
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||
Ben Franklin as a Prometheus?
|>


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:18 PM
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That turns out to be sort of an urban legend, per the link that I don't feel like finding.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:18 PM
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178 emphatically not to 177.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:19 PM
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Because that shit happened.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:19 PM
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Does anyone really know what's going on with the House races at this point? Douchebag University Election Consortium says a Dem win is a real possibility, but we don't have district-level polling yet.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:20 PM
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178: I know it's just a legend.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:21 PM
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I want this to be true.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:25 PM
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I want a Jameson or a Bushmill but I can't remember which one is Catholic.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:29 PM
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Jameson's the "catholic" one I think, which was probably a good marketing campaign for them.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:34 PM
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Irish Catholics hardly drink.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:35 PM
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The internet tells me that a character on The Wire refused to drink Bushmills, on religious grounds. I have a bottle of Bushmills 10 in my office downtown. Maybe I should go get it.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:38 PM
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181: different models are saying different things. But even if they weren't, it's too soon to know.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:38 PM
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181: Um, there are dueling electoral outcome models out there that are sort of interesting. Can't look up the links right now (I've just asked my Mass. FB friends what they thought of the Warren-Brown debate), but someone at The Monkey Cage has a model that says .. Oh shit. I can't remember where I first read about this today. Maybe Kevin Drum, maybe the WaPo Wonkblog.

Someone has a predictive model that says there's a 75% chance the House returns to the Dems. There's another model working with a different set of predictive indicators that says it's a 25% chance. There was a single blog post SOMEWHERE today that explained this.

I'll have to get back to it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:38 PM
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There's nothing more authentically Irish than tossing down a "catholic" Jameson's while eating corned beef and cabbage before pinching people who aren't wearing green on St Patrick's day.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:39 PM
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Should I ask everybody what they wore on St. Pat's Day?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:42 PM
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Here. Dylan Matthews at the Wonkblog. With links to sources.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:45 PM
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Interesting link.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 6:54 PM
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187: Only regular Bushmills here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 7:00 PM
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After 2004, when the ALCS suggested that good could triumph over evil, and then the presidential election proved otherwise, I figured I would get played again. So I'm fully anticipating a Romney victory, and then the Mayan apocalypse.

Oven still in pieces. Problem beyond amateur repair.

Take heart. Last time I did that that, I ended up with a fabulous replacement stove.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 7:02 PM
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I'm trying to save money because apparently I might be rich in 2037.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 7:07 PM
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Five-figures rich?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 7:08 PM
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Sorry, I just realized that Halford's link in 181 goes to the same Princeton election studies work that Matthews links to. Sorry. "Douchebag University" threw me.

Meanwhile, I don't really understand how FB works, because the very specific questions I asked of my Mass.-residing friends regarding Warren v. Brown has just gotten a bunch of "likes". No, people, you're supposed to say something!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 7:09 PM
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My fabulous replacement stove cost $150. May the gods of Craigslist smile upon you similarly.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 7:10 PM
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My range is built in. I want it to last until I have the money to add a gas line to the kitchen.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 7:12 PM
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I added the gas line to the kitchen myself when I got my fabulous replacement stove. Ffs, man up, Moby.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 7:14 PM
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I'm under orders not to burn down this house.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 7:23 PM
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Does an explosion really count as "burning down"?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 7:25 PM
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I value fun (engaging, important, in line with my values) work over an enormous number of things.

I've been extraordinarily fortunate in spending most of my working life getting decently-to-well-paid doing work I like for people I respect, so I don't discount how much this is my luck/privilege talking.

I have had the experience of doing horribly boring work for dreadfully incompetent people, but unlike most of my co-workers I had a defined timeline for getting out. I have no idea how I'd feel if I were still trapped there 15 years later.

Insofar as revealed preferences can demonstrate anything -- well, I routinely work 55 hours a week, sometimes more, and the pay cut of two years ago has turned out to be permanent ($61,000 now). I think the evidence shows that when my UMC housing/healthcare/food costs are covered, I really don't care about much else. I've turned down promotions and raises in the past because they weren't interesting and I had my expenses covered. My car is eight years old and I'd be happy if it lasts another eight (it only has 55,000 miles on it).

My computer is six years old and I'm a little irritated (unreasonably, I realize) at prospect of having to replace it in the next few months. But that's about my desire for all durable goods to last at least 10 years, not about the money.

I think I am not at all representative, though. Most people I know either have dependents or other financial obligations that don't give them the luxury of being picky about work.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 7:26 PM
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It does. There's a whole list.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 7:27 PM
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Oops, this turned into a politics thread. Sorry, guys.

I don't agree with everything in this Think Progress story on the Top 10 Most-Ignored Issues in this Election but I'm very glad they published it.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 7:34 PM
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||

Hey! Anybody in Manhattan up for a pretty kitty?

This one needs a home and seems kind of special. Pass the news around.

|>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 7:59 PM
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I'm only keeping a cat if I'm older and I can't afford a regular burial.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:01 PM
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My non-Irish father reports a tense moment when visiting Ireland to meet Mom's family back in the 70's.

(After he's tried to order Bushmills in three bars) "How come none of the bars around here have Bushmills?"

(Room goes dead quiet, bartender lowers his voice) "'Tis the Prrrotestant whiskey.").


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:16 PM
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After pretty much utterly failing at targeting areas to work in that meet some definition of fun to me, I think I need to spend the next few years trying to make money on work that's interesting enough. Or not interesting, just as long as I make actual money.

I'm also harboring quite a bit of anger at fields where it's normal to be paid nothing to do what is essentially regular work. Not that I don't value the work done in those fields by paid and unpaid alike, but the first time someone suggested unpaid work was good idea because it would have some supposed long term benefit I should have cut my losses and gotten the fuck out and put time into learning the kinds of skills people use in fields where employees are paid wages even at the lower levels.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:25 PM
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Damn my cat allergy!


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:26 PM
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I feel vaguely guilty about not watching the debate, but would it have been worthwhile? I already know Scott Brown is an asshole, and I don't enjoy watching assholes.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:30 PM
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||

This video seems more effective than all of that 30-minute long hidden camera footage.

|>


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:36 PM
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Martini Luther in the Protestant gin.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 8:38 PM
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209 seems unlikely. Every time I've heard about such things, it's been random American affectations rather than genuine Irish sentiment; the Irish seem sufficiently aware of the complicated history of various brands and the fact that they're all owned by random multinationals these days anyway.

That said, I just finished a bottle of Powers, and need to figure out what to get to replace it.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:02 PM
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Does anyone know if Paddy is safely non-sectarian? On the rare occasions I drink Irish whiskey, that's what I have. No one looked at me funny when I ordered it in Ireland.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:03 PM
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What's with all the whiskey talk around here lately?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 9:24 PM
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Is this thread dead enough that I can pass along the news that it appears that the Germans have been poisoning the bees? Reached for comment, Jews the world over remarked, "Well, yeah. D'uh!"

Not just any Germans, either, but the same ones who invented heroin.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:13 PM
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And aspirin, but that part doesn't fit the storyline as well.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:13 PM
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How many children have died because of Reye Syndrome? Well?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:22 PM
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Ah, good point.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:24 PM
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I believe that Bayer was owned by IG Farben for a while.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:27 PM
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|| If you people were putting off your Salmon River float trips, you've waited too long. It's going to take a long long time to recover from this. |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 10:57 PM
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The other one's still fine, though, so you can float it instead and pretend you're John McPhee.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 11:03 PM
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(It may seem like I only ever talk about Alaska these days, but that's just part of becoming a real Alaskan. McPhee talks about this in the book.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-20-12 11:38 PM
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I believe that Bayer was owned by IG Farben for a while.

IG Farben was like US Steel, a conglomerate formed by the merger of all the big preexisting companies; Bayer was one of these, and then it also reemerged when the conglomerate was broken up after the war.

I found it fascinating to learn that basically all of the big German chemical companies (Bayer, BASF, Hoechst, Agfa), which dominated the world market until at least WWI, were founded purely to produce synthetic dyes for clothing. The modern chemical industry, out of such an unlikely niche! Crazy!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 12:46 AM
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Which is of course why it was called IG Farben: Interessen-Gemeinschaft Farbenindustrie AG, syndicate [literally, "community of interests"] of dye-making corporations, as Wikipedia has it. Though by the time of its founding in 1925, they were involved in much more than just dyes.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 12:50 AM
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Huh, interesting.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 12:54 AM
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I should add that everything I know about the subject, I learned from one book.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 1:03 AM
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209 seems unlikely. Every time I've heard about such things, it's been random American affectations rather than genuine Irish sentiment; the Irish seem sufficiently aware of the complicated history of various brands and the fact that they're all owned by random multinationals these days anyway.

209 seems pretty likely, actually, if he was in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. There was a Prod and a Taig everything back then. Still is, to an extent.

See the joke about the three expectant fathers in hospital in Belfast - Mr McAdams, Mr O'Riordan and Mr Akamba - who get told that their babies have been mixed up. Mr O'Riordan goes through to the delivery room - sees one small brown baby, two small pink babies, picks up the small brown baby and says "This one's mine."
"Are you sure that one's not Mr and Mrs Akamba's?"
"Maybe. But one of the other two's a Prod and I'm not taking any chances."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 1:38 AM
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In the 70s, the thing about Bushmills being a "bloody protestant whiskey" was mostly a joke - an extremely pointed joke, but nevertheless what passed for humour under the circumstances.

If CC has a bottle of Bushmills 10 he should get it down his neck. It's not doing anybody any good sat in a cupboard. If he wants whiskey from the 26 counties, IMHO he'd be better off buying Connemara Single Malt than Jamesons, which is pretty ordinary.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 2:11 AM
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This would have been not in Northern Ireland, but in County Clare. I believe the exchange happened, but of course it's perfectly possible that the bartender was just seeing if he could make the Protestant boy who married Mrs MacNamara's granddaughter nervous (which, turns out he could).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 4:25 AM
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I can't remember having any Irish whiskey that I didn't think was a bit ordinary -- like a basic blended 'cooking' whisky. And I'm not much of a whisky snob. Will have a look out for the Connemara, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 4:27 AM
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233. I suspect that the list of Scotch whiskies that are more to your palate (and mine) than Connemara would be a long one. But if you're determined to drink Irish, it's the best I've found yet.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 5:13 AM
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Mmm. I like Irish better than Scotch because I don't really like smoky flavors much. But I don't think I've ever met someone who liked Scotch much at all who liked Irish better.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 6:08 AM
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235. If you don't like smoky (peaty) flavours, Connemara is probably not for you. Try Lockes or Tyrconnell if you want a single malt Irish beyond the usual suspects.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 6:34 AM
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Have you tried putting Drambuie in it?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 6:36 AM
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I don't really get the whole "single malt" concept either. I haven't had many, but I've had a few. They taste different from the blends, but not necessarily better and certainly not dozens of dollars per bottle better.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 6:38 AM
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226-7: There's a pretty good entry in the Noun: Why Everything in the Goddamn World Relates to Noun sweepstakes by Simon Garfield called Mauve.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 6:45 AM
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238. Single malts tend to have more extreme characteristics than blends. Blends are made to produce a drink that is deliberately middle of the road. Not just so that it's all things to all people, but mainly so that it can be moved from the distillery to the supermarket faster: much of the extra price tag on singles is paying for them to sit in a barrel for a decade or two acquiring their peculiar flavour (the rest is gaming liquor snobs with more money than sense).

A decent blend will be more to your taste than a single you don't like, and less so than a single which captures your fancy. Only the single malts you like are worth the extra money.

Much the same can be said of modern wine making.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 6:53 AM
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I do indeed have similar issues with wine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 6:57 AM
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Talisker and Lagavulin.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 6:59 AM
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235: have you tried speysides? The really peaty stuff is mostly from the south west and islands. You might like something like dalhwinney (sp?)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:03 AM
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That illustrates the problem. Those cost about 5 times as much as Jim Beam. If I don't like them, I've just wasted $90. If I do like them, I've just set myself up so that I'll either drink 1/5 as much, spend 5 times more, or always knowingly drink something I don't like that much. Better to just stay away.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:04 AM
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I've just set myself up so that I'll either drink 1/5 as much

Carry on.


Posted by: Your doctor | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:07 AM
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One of the great things about beer fandom is that you really have to work to spend obscene amounts of money. It really takes a lot of work to find a bomber of beer that's more than $25.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:08 AM
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My doctor really did say that, but I stopped telling him the truth on that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:08 AM
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Transatlantic translation request: how much is a bomber?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:11 AM
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I wonder if the rise of single malts in the US has had a negative impact on overall US scotch consumption. I feel like when I was a kid a "scotch on the rocks" was a pretty ubiquitous grown up drink, but now people order fancy single malts rarely and drink them neat and otherwise don't drink scotch.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:12 AM
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I meant a 750ml. Looking in more detail it seems that "bomber" might mean something smaller (22oz).


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:12 AM
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Bars will sell single servings of your beverage of choice. Honestly, though, even if you're cheap, I think one can do better than Jim Beam-- Bulleit's not expensive. Also, the phenol level in all of these is high-- if you drink a lot of them at once, vicious hangovers will result.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:15 AM
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I didn't say it hadn't been opened! It was a birthday gift from my Irish-American office mate; I gave him a bottle of Lagavulin for his birthday.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:17 AM
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That's good reason to avoid clear liquors. Not enough negative feedback to keep things limited.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:17 AM
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253 to 251.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:18 AM
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"scotch on the rocks" was a pretty ubiquitous grown up drink

It's what Sabrina drank at the end of every episode of Charlie's Angels.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:18 AM
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I should fucking hope it's a struggle to find beer at more than $25 for 750ml. Fifteen quid for a pint and a third? That really is taking the piss.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:21 AM
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There's a high probability that 255 is where I'm getting this idea from.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:22 AM
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The point is that it's in striking contrast to say wine, where it's not at all hard to find wine that costs thousands of dollars.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:24 AM
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I will sell you beer for thousands of dollars if you want.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:25 AM
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it's not at all hard to find wine that costs thousands of dollars

It's also quite easy to mock it mercilessly.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:25 AM
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Yeah but the idea that high end beers (and I've had more of them since the last time I made this point) are comparable to high end wines is laughable.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:26 AM
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At my old job, the height of the social season was a single malt tasting every February. Got bigger every year for several -- had maybe 20 or 25 by the time I left. You sure find out what you like that way.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:27 AM
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Beer: $7 or $8 for a growler refill hereabouts.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:30 AM
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244: I kind of feel this way about connoisseurship in general. Putting effort into locating and consuming the best (or most precisely to my taste) of whatever something is seems like working so that I can spend more money on being less easily satisfied, without all that much of a reward in how much I enjoy whatever I'm drinking/eating. I mean, you don't want to drink or eat anything you actively don't like, but I think it's an area where diminishing returns sets in very fast.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:32 AM
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Beer: $7 or $8 for a growler refill hereabouts.

Oh, boy, that's another one for the Two Nations Divided By A Common Language file. I assume that in the US a growler is some sort of measure of beer? Because in the UK it's something really quite different.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:40 AM
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264: as, I think, Louis Armstrong or someone said when someone asked him why he had such a cheap stereo: "What would I do with a thousand-dollar stereo? I only have twenty-dollar ears."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:42 AM
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264 -- It's more fun if you do it with other people, obviously. When I was 20, 3 gals I knew and I decided we should try the different blends to see what we liked. (This was legal where we lived, although, as the evening went on, my driving from one location to another was not.) Had 9 different drinks. And a lot of fun coming up with pretentious sounding adjectives.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:42 AM
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265: Ugh. Bad ajay for making me google that. (And after I defended your Eric Ambler-related honor.)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:43 AM
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265: We're a disgusting people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:44 AM
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264. No, I wouldn't call myself a connoisseur, but I do enjoy good wine and whisky. The trick is not to be a snob about it. The cheap stuff is perfectly good on its own terms, and 350 days in the year we happily drink $7-10 plonk from the cut price supermarket. But when we splurge a bit on an occasion, it's a treat.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:45 AM
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268 was meeeeeeee.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:45 AM
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I agree with 270. You can't let your taste for good things interfere with your taste for mediocre things. Though one should have opinions about mediocre things as well. E.g. Budweiser is much better than Heineken.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:51 AM
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I'm equally fond of Budweiser and Heineken but not very fond of either.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:52 AM
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My position on this is bolstered by the fact that I also have an absolutely terrible memory for what I like -- something about words for food & drink related subtleties (and what I consider a subtlety, other people might consider the broad strokes) goes right in and out of my head without leaving marks. I'm lucky I can remember I like Bushmills.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:58 AM
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Though one should have opinions about mediocre things as well.

Yes. Cheap Spanish or Portuguese wine is better than cheap French or Italian wine in Britain (and probably in America). But not better than cheap French wine in France or cheap Italian wine in Italy.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 7:59 AM
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Cherry-flavored cigarrilos are nasty.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 8:01 AM
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Cheap Spanish or Portuguese wine is better than cheap French or Italian wine in Britain (and probably in America)

Yeah, at least to my unrefined palate, it's usually a much better quality-to-price ratio.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 8:03 AM
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My friends and I recently did a blind tasting of canned beers and it was a) fun and b) surprising. Low/no alcohol O'Doul's came in second (based on the number of people who scored it as their favourite) based on the beer snobs (all male). Us non-beer snobs (or at least less vocal about our beer preferences, mostly women) picked Tecate. Bud and Natty Light also scored very high. PBR did not score well.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 8:03 AM
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That reminds me, I need to find the good beer store here in preparation for doing a blind Belgian quad tasting. It's surprisingly hard to find a good beer selection in Germany, though the ease of finding Erdinger dunkelweizen does somewhat make up for that.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 8:11 AM
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I can't taste the difference at all between standard American beers, so I either buy a craft beer, or I buy the cheapest beer in the store that doesn't say "light" or "ice" on it. (The last restriction is pure snobbery.) At the grocery stores around here, that leaves me drinking either Pabst, Old Milwaukee, or Busch as a staple, and something like Dogfishhead for a treat.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 8:35 AM
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If you're trying to get me to rethinking my views on becoming a connoisseur, it's working.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 8:41 AM
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to rethinking

Connoisseur grammarien, bien sur.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 8:54 AM
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Growler is a half gallon bottle. You take in to the brewery and get it refilled. (Actually, they take your empty bottle and give you a full one, with their logo.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 8:56 AM
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I kind of feel this way about connoisseurship in general. Putting effort into locating and consuming the best (or most precisely to my taste) of whatever something is seems like working so that I can spend more money on being less easily satisfied, without all that much of a reward in how much I enjoy whatever I'm drinking/eating. I mean, you don't want to drink or eat anything you actively don't like, but I think it's an area where diminishing returns sets in very fast.

Huh. I kind of feel the exact opposite. You get to try lots of different nice food/wine/beer and discover what you like best. What's not to like, assuming you can afford it? I suppose this approach is dependent on living in a big or at least cosmopolitan city though.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 9:05 AM
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When practiced well (by eg Blandings or JMQ) connoisseurship is as much or more about finding bargains and values and getting 5x the pleasure for only a little more than the cheap price. You don't need to be knowledgeable to drink an 89 Petrus, just butt rich.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 9:14 AM
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244: I kind of feel this way about connoisseurship in general.

As somebody with a tendency towards being a collector/connoisseurs -- particularly when it comes to music but in other areas as well, I feel like I should defend the impulse.

Thinking about it, I see three parts to the impulse, two of which are mostly defensible and one of which is probably silly.

1) The feeling that you can be both enjoying something and learning at the same time -- "I like this (or don't like this). Why is that, and how does it fit into my sense of comparable items?"

This is a little bit too close to, "I don't read novels. I prefer good literary criticism. " for comfort but leads to

2) For many things quality isn't a fixed value, and you have to know what is being attempted to assess whether it succeeds or fails -- most generously I think it's good to try to take things on their own terms as much as possible, and knowing more about the context makes it easier to figure out what those terms are.

3) A nagging curiosity about what the really high end expression of something looks like -- think of this as the, "I should try the French Laundry once in my life" impulse (though, personally, I have no particular fascination with really high-end restaurants). Sometimes you find that the high-end thing really is radically different from the lower-end and arguably worth the money, sometimes you find out that it's only marginally better and has a much worse cost/value ratio. But it's interesting to find out.

I think the last is the least convincing reason since, for most things, there's pretty steep diminishing returns. But that's why it can be fun to get into something like fancy chocolate where even the really expensive stuff isn't that expensive.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 9:16 AM
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I will say that I like to eat and like a good meal as much as anything but I am so sick of nattering on about restaurants and cooking. Blah blah blah food food food -- just give me some good new and greens, well prepared.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 9:20 AM
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New sb meat. Meat!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 9:21 AM
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Blends are made to produce a drink that is deliberately middle of the road.

Don't tell Compass Box.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 9:25 AM
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284-86: Well, see what I said in 274. If you enjoy that sort of thing, it's great. I hit the point of diminishing returns probably a bunch faster than most people because I have such a cripplingly bad memory for "What was the name of that cheese/wine/single-malt?"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 9:37 AM
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Oh definitely. I don't find connoisseurship for its own sake particularly fun, so I'm happy to free ride off the efforts of others. But I'm glad there are some people out there doing this. OTOH I might seriously flip out the next time I see someone taking elaborate cell phone pictures of their meal at the restaurant.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 9:41 AM
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I suppose I'm something of a connoisseur or collector of fine bicycles, and I think the practice is pretty much indefensible. The best defense I can mount is that it's a relatively benign vice.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 9:47 AM
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I'm a connoisseur of fine blogging. I'm also a producer.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 9:49 AM
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290 -- You could ask Buck to remember for you.

291 -- I saw yesterday that some double digit percentage of all of the photographs taken since the dawn of time were taken in 2011.

292 -- A well managed household has more bikes than boats, and more skis than bikes. Maybe you need to buy a pair of skis?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 9:57 AM
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294: For names and faces, he's flawless, and I pretend to recognize people by watching him for cues. On food and wine, he's as bad or worse than I am.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 10:00 AM
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This the sort of problem cameraphones and Evernote were invented for.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 10:06 AM
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I find low standards to be a more robust solution.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 10:09 AM
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I suppose I'm something of a connoisseur or collector of fine bicycles, and I think the practice is pretty much indefensible.

I think Halford's 291 is relevant, I'm glad there is enough of a market to allow boutique bike manufactures to survive (have I mentioned how much I love the 10-year old Merlin that I got on eBay two years ago -- a lovely MTB).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 10:14 AM
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92
How much is fun work worth to you? In the process of changing jobs and thinking about this a lot, as it looks like choosing between financial stability with somewhat plodding work on the one side, vs really interesting work that will pay lousy and probably eat my life for the next few years (with an outside chance of riches at the end)

I wouldn't say it's worth that much to me. All else being equal, I think I'd take, say, up to a 10 percent pay cut for a fun vs. merely not-fun job. This is because I'm kind of fatalistic about work: no matter what, it's going to be a big chunk of your waking hours doing something that someone has to be paid for, so while different people find different things fun, it's a choice between bad and less-bad.

And another problem is, that hypothetical of two jobs that are exactly identical except for money and fun seems unlikely in practice. Much more likely: a job that's more fun, but also more stress. My current job isn't fun, but it's really easy and boring and reliable. A job with more stuff I enjoy would probably also have longer hours, more dealing with people, more conflict and responsibility.

I plan to start looking for work Real Soon Now, and I know that jobs exist for which I'm qualified, at least on paper, that I'd find both more fun and probably actually higher-paying. But when I do start looking I'll have to think hard about how much fun and money is worth time and stress.

As for dependents and stuff: I don't have any in the legal sense. However, my fiancée and I just bought a house, and she actively hates her job a lot more than I do, so we probably both don't want to be looking for work at the same time.

108
I wonder how well Romney would do nationally if he had a sane script. If, say, during his governorship he had switched parties and ran as a centrist, pro-business, but open to healthcare reform Democrat.

Are we postulating that he's switching back to run as a Republican now? He never would have got past the Republican primaries. Or if we're assuming he's running as a centrist Democrat back in 2008? He might have done better than most in the primaries, but they would still have been a real challenge, considering the other candidates.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 10:16 AM
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most generously I think it's good to try to take things on their own terms as much as possible, and knowing more about the context makes it easier to figure out what those terms are.

This doesn't lead to connoisseurship, though. Connoisseurship means investing money (or time in bargain hunting) to get the exact thing that you have learned to appreciate. Open mindedness like this lets you grab whatever is on sale right in front of you and appreciate it for what it is.

I think open-mindedness is actually the best route to having low standards. And having low standards is the best route to happiness. So there you go.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 10:19 AM
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Chris Y is right in 270 and Ginger Y in 284. I very very rarely spend lots of money on booze. Wine is £5-10 a bottle, and usually closer to £5. I don't buy really expensive beers. However, within that price range, I know what I like, and which wines that are commonly available near me are good (for me) in that price bracket, and so on. And on those very odd occasions I get something more expensive, it's a nice treat. Ditto with food, or anything else.

With whisky I don't drink it that much, as it doesn't really agree with me [love the taste, not so much the effect on my head or guts after], so I've never developed a huge amount of snobbery, but I know which whiskies I like, and which I don't, and enjoy the nice ones when I have 'em. I'm quite happy to drink blends some of the time, as many are perfectly OK and some very nice. I have a friend/colleague who is a huge whisky nut, though, so I do get to hear from the dark-side, and he occasionally passes on recommendations, which is nice. When in Edinburgh for work recently we spent a while tracking down a particular whisky, as it's from my home town distillery, which closed nearly 20 years ago.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 10:19 AM
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226, 227, 239:

Clothing used to be incredibly more expensive, in proportion to incomes, than it is now; both the cheap and the expensive clothes. No-one could make even a bad living stealing handkerchiefs any more. It's therefore quite logical that cloth manufacture was the early high-tech industry.

Lacemaking machines probably were the precursor of punchcard tabulators (and therefore the common computer), though the history is unclear because the earliest lacemaking technology was secretive, and then bombed flat, and then comprehensively out of fashion and the remains slagged. Northerly Knifecrime partisans may be muttering 'Leavers! Leavers!' here, but IIRC there were precursors in Lyons.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 10:22 AM
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that I also have an absolutely terrible memory for what I like

Some stuff, that I naturally remember well (mostly plant-related 'cause I like plants, so cucumber varieties or types of grapes or something), I can remember my rankings no problem. But for anything that I don't remember effortlessly, I have a real hard time.

I mostly tend to remember that something made an impression, but I don't remember whether that was good or bad. Oh yeah! That thing! Did I love that or hate it? Deciding to order it becomes a crapshoot.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 10:29 AM
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No-one could make even a bad living stealing handkerchiefs any more.

Today's criminal is a lazy addict of the welfare state.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 10:29 AM
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That thing! Did I love that or hate it? Deciding to order it becomes a crapshoot.

High-beta.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-21-12 10:34 AM
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Trip was a success. Turns out there's an excellent beer store a subway ride away. Walked out with two quads (St. Bernardus & Rochefort, to go in the blind tasting with the Westy I got at the abbey), a gueze, and two bottles of Aventinus, all for just over 8 euros. It may be hard to find good beer stores here, but apparently once you do the prices are low.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 2:26 AM
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299: part of Romney's problem is that he's objectively speaking, a bit shit. A very rich white male with one, pretty uninspiring term as Governor? (And losses in the two races he ran against actual classy opposition, at that.) The Republicans have been a pretty shallow talent pool at the moment.

On the Democratic side, he'd have been floating around at the Gravel/Richardson/Dodd level in '08, I think.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 3:12 AM
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I dunno, as a democrat he'd be able to say he's the only person who ever actually passed health care reform. That'd count for something.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 3:16 AM
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Sure, but Richardson/Dodd/Gravel etc all have accomplishments. I'm not saying he'd be totally disregarded, just that he's quite a weak major party nominee for President --- compare to John McCain, or even Kerry --- and would not have got any real traction against Clinton or Obama.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 3:25 AM
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I was thinking maybe he could have displaced Edwards, but the timing is wrong cause he probably would have needed to run twice.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 3:27 AM
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Romney wouldn't have won re-election for governor in the state where he passed health care reform, for what that's worth.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 6:07 AM
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I was thinking maybe he could have displaced Edwards

He doesn't really seem like Rielle Hunter's type, but if you say so.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 6:30 AM
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I've heard that state is full of assholes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 6:31 AM
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If a group of people are going around the track kicking in the air after each step like they were the remedial marching class of the Nazi military, is that Crossfit? If so, is it contaigious?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 6:45 AM
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Cheap New World wines are almost always better than cheap Old World wines, or at least more drinkable.

I buy Earlytimes whiskey, which comes in a plastic bottle but goes down reasonably smooth. Last time I bought a bottle though, even the liquor store checkout clerk shamed me, saying (imagine an African-American Chicago accent): "Earlytimes girl? That's just sad). I refuse to cultivate better tastes because I am a grad student and can't afford them. Being married to a guy from a wealthy family who owned a vineyard and made wine almost ruined my unrefined wine palate, but I've been working to get it back, one bottle of Charles Shaw at a time.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 10:57 AM
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re: 314

That's a common enough warm-up move. See also, cariocas, etc.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 12:57 PM
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Richardson/Dodd/Gravel

One of these is not like the others.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 1:00 PM
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315: This boom in liquor snobbery (I blame Absolut) shows no signs of abating any time soon. It's ridiculous though. Compared to what people were drinking 100 years ago, almost anything you can buy nowadays* is perfectly tasty and refined.

Personally, I serve Old Crow, Karkov Vodka and Ron Rico rum to my guests. I do buy good gin though, 'cause cheap gin is noticeably inferior.

*Important exception: Montezuma Tequila


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 1:05 PM
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Gravel was actually a pretty important figure in Alaska politics in the 1970s. (Note that this is not really in conflict with 317.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 1:07 PM
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Britta, have you heard the GOOD NEWS about Old Overholt?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 1:08 PM
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306 - Which Rochefort, Commenter? Rochefort 6 is I think my favorite Belgian.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 1:10 PM
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Mine's Vesalius.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 1:20 PM
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Questionable edit from Wikipedia Oktoberfest entry:

Traditional visitors wear during the Oktoberfest Bavarian hats (Tirolerhüte), which contain a tuft of goat hair. In Germany, goat hair is highly valued and prized, making it one of the most expensive objects for sale. The more tufts of goat hair on your hat, the wealthier you are considered to be. Technology helping, this tradition ended with the appearance of cheap goat hair imitations on the market.[citation needed]


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 1:46 PM
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Dude, everyone knows the Krauts love goat hair. They say Hitler only had one tuft, you know.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 2:26 PM
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317: you are right! I knew Gravel had been a Senator and such, but forgot (a) it was a long time ago, and (b) he is now kinda crazed.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 3:54 PM
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The Republicans have been a pretty shallow talent pool at the moment.

Seriously. But I think Rubio will take the nomination easily in 2016, and he'll be a formidable general election candidate.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 4:28 PM
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He'll have to beat the best body in New Jersey politics.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 4:31 PM
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Isn't Rubio super unpopular in Florida?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 4:35 PM
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Or maybe that's Rick Scott. Anyhow, their bench is pretty weak, but so's the Dem bench at the moment.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 4:40 PM
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The bourbon we have now is apparently Ky Tavern, which I assume is outrageously cheap or something. If I'm drinking bourbon, it's generally as a muscle relaxant and medicine doesn't have to taste amazing, though this was fine with sour cherry juice and a splash of simple syrup. I had occasion a few nights ago to let Lee know that the time had arrived to drink bourbon out of my cleavage if that had ever been a goal of hers, but instead I was left to clean up my own spill.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 4:41 PM
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Maybe try scotch?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 4:50 PM
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Where they live I think that's considered heresy or something.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 4:56 PM
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Wearing a dirndl then.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 5:02 PM
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Rubio is good, but I have no idea how he plays in the big leagues. That winning smile only goes so far, before he reverts to stubborn talking points. (He should in truth be on the Dem side.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 5:20 PM
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I suspect 326 is right on both counts, but apo and I may be underestimating the power of anti-Mexican sentiment in the GOP primary electorate (Rubio isn't himself Mexican, but he is considered less than 100% trustworthy by the anti-immigrant wing).


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 5:36 PM
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333 to 335.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 5:45 PM
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I had occasion a few nights ago to let Lee know that the time had arrived to drink bourbon out of my cleavage if that had ever been a goal of hers, but instead I was left to clean up my own spill

No wonder. Based on representations made in a recent thread, you must be able to hold half a pint or so in there.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 5:45 PM
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It's also a matter of how the GOP sorts itself out with respect to its Tea Party wing. Does Boehner retain his Speakership in 2012, for example, or does Eric Cantor get a shot? They're a mess at this point. I'm not sure, actually, where Rubio stands with the Tea Party types.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 5:52 PM
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338: He has always been favorite of the tea partiers. He ticks most of their boxes on the issues, and had the added bonus of "See, we can't be racist".

If Romney is perceived to have lost because he loses Hispanics by 40 points, Rubio will have good prospects in the primaries.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 6:04 PM
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If Romney is perceived to have lost because he was too moderate, 2016 will be interesting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 6:08 PM
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His family fled a Communist country, he grew up in Las Vegas, and he married an NFL cheerleader. In terms of identity politics, how are the Tea Partiers not going to love him?


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 6:13 PM
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341 to 338


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 6:14 PM
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Moderately priced ($10-20) are a great value as long as you don't buy the ones from the big name brand AOC's. For splurging Mosel's are awesome.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 6:16 PM
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I'm dreaming of DeMint in 2016, assuming the economy is at least mediocre. If it's terrible I'm nightmaring about the same.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 6:18 PM
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I suspect that Romney will be perceived to have lost because he was too fucking rich, and didn't manage to hide it well enough: they need a man of the people.

Where does the Ryan mentality go for them, though? The Ryan budget, the Ryan plan. I don't know where Rubio stands on that, either. Things will be rather different by 2016 in any case: the ACA will have kicked in, though it's hard to say whether 2 years will have been enough to put the electorate firmly on its side.

They're going to have a hell of a job on their hands, to keep convincing people that destruction of the 'welfare state' is the only way to save our souls. Maybe they can continue to kneecap government for another four years (fans of the long game, they are), but ... my imagination has trouble going there.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 6:34 PM
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329

... but so's the Dem bench at the moment.

It's not so bad, you have Hillary and Andrew Cuomo.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 8:45 PM
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335

I suspect 326 is right on both counts, but apo and I may be underestimating the power of anti-Mexican sentiment in the GOP primary electorate (Rubio isn't himself Mexican, but he is considered less than 100% trustworthy by the anti-immigrant wing).

Less than 100% trustworthy is an understatement.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 8:47 PM
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In no particular order: Hillary Clinton (she won't yet be 70), Deval Patrick, Kathleen Sebelius, Andrew Cuomo, Tom Vilsack, Janet Napolitano, Sherrod Brown (I can dream), and don't forget Joe Biden. Then there are a bunch of people -- Cory Booker is the most obvious example -- who probably won't have the experience they need in 2016 but still bear watching.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 9:16 PM
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My worry for the medium term is a California-like scenario where there's a centrist executive, plenty of centrists legislators, but enough hard-right legislators to prevent solving the problems that need to be solved. If we just keep electing Obama clones it won't be enough. (I don't know what would be enough.)


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 9:24 PM
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Vilsack's people have obviously gotten to VW. Probably the "have a talk inside a grain bin" ploy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 9:34 PM
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Who could forget Joe Biden?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 9:35 PM
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(I don't know what would be enough.)

Reform the filibuster! (Probably easier than amending the California constitution to take away the 2/3 rule.)


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 9:36 PM
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351: Not The Onion, that's for sure.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 9:43 PM
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Heh.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 9:44 PM
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"See, we can't be racist"

This. 2012 is the last cycle there's any shot of winning with just the white vote and it's a long, long shot. If they don't make themselves at least competitive for the Latino vote, they might be looking at one hell of a long time wandering in the desert. They'll clear the decks for him. It's no coincidence he's on the Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-22-12 11:11 PM
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The Republican party's problem isn't just non-whites, it's also non-Christian whites. McCain did better among Latinos then he did among white non-Christians (31% among Latinos vs. 26% among white nones, 18% among Jews, and 28% among white 'others'). Combined that's 13% of the 2008 electorate. I doubt Romney will do any better given all the social issue stuff and hardline 'America is a Christian nation' stuff. On the other hand among white Protestants he won by 65-34 and among Catholics it was McCain by 52-47. You could look at the 2008 election as a massive Republican landslide among white Protestants, an even greater Democratic landslide among everyone who isn't a white Christian, and a narrow Republican victory among white Catholics. Over the medium term both the proportion of non-whites and of white non-Christians in the electorate is likely to expand.

To remain at rough parity with Democrats the Republicans are going to have to either deliver a massive fuck you to the Christian right while doubling down on their makers vs. moochers agenda ('This nation was founded on Judeo-Christian-non-believer values'. We luuuuve contraception and gay marriage.) Or they could go the traditional Euro Christian Democratic route and embrace a stronger welfare state with high taxes, adding a Bush style approach to immigration, while maintaining the social conservatism.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 12:26 AM
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If they don't make themselves at least competitive for the Latino vote, they might be looking at one hell of a long time wandering in the desert take a leaf from the Whig playbook and just pack it in, re-forming in different ways. The Christian Democratic option looks the most productive, but they'd have to keep a lid on the religious extremists and also kick out the libertarians, so it would take a while until they'd realigned enough suspicious hispanics and blue dogs to win anything big.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 2:58 AM
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But they'd have to keep a lid on the religious extremists and also kick out the libertarians

And who would be left to turn off the lights? Seriously, the religious extremists and libertarians (anti-tax fanatics, anyway) run the party.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 4:39 AM
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I have been hearing that the Republicans crazies were consigning the Party to the dustbin of history since I was old enough to cream my pants at the prospect, and all I have ever gotten from these repeated teases were severe cases of blue balls.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 7:55 AM
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Well if you're ever down in Houston,
Boy you better wheel right,
And you better not argy,
And you better not wave a pen around



Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 8:40 AM
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Now this is interesting, both as a guide to the politics of the future and as a guide to the politics of the last couple generations.

Suzy Khimm imterviews Hannah Rosin. There is plenty of reaction to Rosin floating around.

And Maybe This ...closely read in the right way.

Corey Robin and Chris Hayes made tentative steps in the right direction, but eventually blocked themselves with partisanship and ahistoricity. There can be all different kinds of conservatism (hierarchies) and illiberalism (elitism.) What needs to be analyzed is not the parties, but the hegemonies, practices, and policies and the material historical conditions that determine policies.

The rise of Neoliberalism corresponds with the relative empowerment of women.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 9:10 AM
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Apparently in Germany they give you 200 euros a month if you have a young child and one of the parents isn't working *even if you're not a citizen*. It kind of blew my mind. The political spectrum in the US really doesn't get anywhere near Christian Democrat. It's hard for me to imagine the republican party getting there from here.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 9:18 AM
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362:Japan also has good daycare policies, and of course, had legal abortion.

In Germany I think one effect is to keep women out of the workforce.

In Japan it provides a supply of precariat, service, and part-time labor at much lower wage/benefit levels.

Pdf 2011 Gender vs age as factors in support for the LDP. Etc.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 9:37 AM
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Maybe they can continue to kneecap government for another four years (fans of the long game, they are), but ... my imagination has trouble going there.

Conservatives have had a string of successes by kneecapping the government. This has been true at least since Clinton's impeachment. All they have to do is be there when things fall apart under the Democrats' watch, and they get to do whatever they feel like doing.

The demographics are an issue, and the Karl Rove types would rather move ahead by courting Hispanics directly, but Rove and his ilk are liable to be left behind by history. I think the Republicans are going to have to stop openly insulting Hispanics (and I acknowledge that's a tall order) but they won't have to do much else.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 11:14 AM
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Apparently in Germany they give you 200 euros a month if you have a young child and one of the parents isn't working *even if you're not a citizen*.

Not just young children. You get it for kids through age 18, and in some instances beyond that:

Grundsätzlich besteht für alle Kinder ab der Geburt bis zur Vollendung des 18. Lebensjahres Anspruch auf Kindergeld. Auch darüber hinaus kann unter bestimmten Voraussetzungen das Kindergeld weiter gezahlt werden.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 11:31 AM
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364.1: They've never done it quite to this extent before, have they? Maybe with Gingrich's shutdown of the government back when, but he lost his Speakership over that; it wasn't the sort of sustained endeavor we're seeing now.

I don't say you're wrong: maybe they will continue in the same egregious manner for another four years. The outcome of various upcoming Congressional races in November will say something about how well that's working for them.

Someone on one of the Sunday talk shows put it plainly and probably correctly: in order to avoid the sequester, in December sometime Republicans will agree to some revenue increases (not sure what sort those would be), and Democrats will agree to some tweaking of so-called entitlement programs (probably a shift to chained CPI). Or! Something entirely different could happen! But I don't see how Republicans can continue to refuse to approve raises in the debt ceiling and so on for another four fucking years; public sentiment is not on their side.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 11:33 AM
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362 The left-right divide in Germany on that issue has generally been between subsidizing day care in the name of helping women have both a career and children and subsidizing stay at home moms in the name of promoting traditional gender roles.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 12:16 PM
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Can someone who understands how to use both google and this site please point me to my original bet (for a Coke) about the election with Megan?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 12:23 PM
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That would be this one.

Google search string: Obama bet "posted by: Megan" site:unfogged.com


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 12:35 PM
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I'd say you're one for two so far there, Vee-Dub.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 12:48 PM
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370: unemployment is nowhere near 8.5%. The bet is off. I am infallible.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 12:54 PM
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Except for the part where I said Romney would tack back to the center in the general election. Which, seriously, what the fuck was/is he thinking?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 1:04 PM
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Dude the employment rate is 8.1% (I think). Don't be a welcher. Plus I'll get it all back from Megan in 2030 when I collect on my bet with her, the terms of which I can't quite recall.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 1:13 PM
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He's thinking the polls undersample enthusiastic Republicans. And oversample people who aren't actually going to vote.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 1:14 PM
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Oh actually looking at it you worded your bet well to avoid the unemployment problem, but you still have to pay up in the second half. "You built it."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 1:16 PM
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373: what part of "all bets are off if the economy improves" don't you understand? I mean, I'm happy to buy Megan a Coke with lemon, but I won't have a lost bet undermine my record of infallibility.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 1:16 PM
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18 year old Coke. You guys should be going with different stakes.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 1:17 PM
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375: yeah, as I said in 372, what the fuck? Still, I can't be blamed because Mitt Romney is badly advised. I'm not even buying Megan half a Coke. Or maybe, because I'm a gentleman*, I'll buy her a Coke, but she'll have to bring her own lemon.

* And feminist.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 1:19 PM
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My new theory is that Romney will get 27% of the popular vote. Its a best case scenario, I know.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 1:20 PM
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372: well, yeah. I actually tend to think he's actually making the smart play as far as maintaining some level of within-party support, which he would really be fucked without, but he's choosing between levels of being fucked. Not being fucked doesn't seem to be an option for him at this point.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 1:23 PM
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Finding my food security bet with Megan in the archives turns out to be pretty difficult. Jesus Christ did I bloviate a lot. But what exactly was the bet?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 1:28 PM
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380: I suppose it's possible that the GOP is more fractured than either party has been in a very long time. Actually, I think that probably is the case. Still, I'm not sure where disaffected Republicans would have gone if Romney had run as compassionate conservative. Or are you thinking that if Romney had tacked to the center someone would have run a serious campaign to his right? I guess maybe that would have happened, in which case he's done/is doing the right thing.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 1:30 PM
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381: ask parsi. She hooked me up (thanks, parsi!).


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 1:32 PM
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If Romney lost heavy turnout from the GOP base, or if Obama supporters turned out in 2008-like force, he was always already fucked. So his strategy always had to be encouraging his base voters, making a mild play for the tiny number of undecideds, and hoping that a bad economy plus Obama bashing and backlash kept Dem voters at home. Thats actually what he meant with the 47% line. I don't think that under the current party configuration eg John Huntsman ( who did run as a moderate) would have been a better general election candidate for the Rs.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 1:36 PM
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If Romney lost heavy turnout from the GOP base, or if Obama supporters turned out in 2008-like force, he was always already fucked. So his strategy always had to be encouraging his base voters, making a mild play for the tiny number of undecideds, and hoping that a bad economy plus Obama bashing and backlash kept Dem voters at home.

This. A big enthusiasm gap like 2010 (all the kids stay home) was probably the only play he had. I mean, it still might work. It just doesn't seem to be working terribly well so far.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 1:42 PM
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Er, 385 continued: and I think he intended to tack to the middle. But I suspect that in private he (and the party more generally) are facing serious threats at out and out rebellion from the wingier elements, and they're genuinely scared of, if not an actual candidate, a concerted campaign against not just Romney but the mainstream/leadership of the party more generally.

I think it's illustrative that Romney's 47% business was during a super-high-dollar fundraiser; the people who give a shitload of money to the GOP are supposed to be basically more moderate than the tea partiers. But while they might be on social issues, any talk of any more government or taxes or social programs is not going to fly with them. The tax revolters have engineered full plutocrat capture.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 1:50 PM
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Yes, the Republicans are far to the right of central-right European parties, economically and socially. The Democrats would be a center-right party in Europe. Hard to see exactly where Republicans fit in, as they're more explicitly anti-welfare state than a lot of the neo-Fascist parties (though, they still like to draw on the same populist rhetoric...)


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 1:55 PM
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The "child support" thing is weirdly both way to the right and to the left of both american parties. Also, for as much as the religious right wants to make the goverment more religious, it's worth remembering that Christian Dems support actual state churches, which would not fly in the US. Being asked your official religious affiliation by the DMV-like office is a weird experience.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 2:01 PM
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Note also that Obama hasn't run to the center. In fact, it's pretty clear that with well-defined ideological parties and 95% of the voters making up their minds ahead of time, and the remaining 5% mostly extremely low information voters, tacking to the center doesn't make that much sense as an electoral strategy if there's a risk that doing so will significantly cost you turnout amongst your base. I mean you can't run way to the extreme of your party, but there are also huge risks in the current party set-up in running too far to the center.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 2:02 PM
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387,388: Yeah, there's no way way Republicans ever become anything like the CDU/CSU. Sometimes you can find analogues between political systems across different countries, and sometimes things are just sui generis. I think this is one of the latter.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 2:06 PM
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Well, you could say that Obama governs right center, and hasn't run further to the right.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 2:15 PM
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Well, yeah. I just mean that he hasn't tried to tack himself further to the right; if anything he's running somewhat to the left of how he's governed.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 2:17 PM
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Being asked your official religious affiliation by the DMV-like office is a weird experience.

Is "fuck you" an allowed response?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 2:27 PM
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362 The left-right divide in Germany on that issue has generally been between subsidizing day care in the name of helping women have both a career and children and subsidizing stay at home moms in the name of promoting traditional gender roles.

Where's "encourage moms to become wealthy by not subsidizing anything"? Does nobody care about free-marker capitalism anymore? Someone should translate the great works of Ronald Reagan into German and do a speaking tour.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 2:32 PM
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Markers are super expensive in Germany.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 2:45 PM
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Must be those damn chemical companies again.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 2:47 PM
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re: 362

The same would apply in the UK. Child Benefit, approximately $140 per month for your first child, less for subsequent kids, is available to any UK residents, even if they aren't citizens of the UK.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 2:56 PM
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You don't have to work! You just get your check in the mail!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 3:13 PM
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The markers are free but they make a ton of money on ink.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 3:49 PM
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Yes, the Republicans are far to the right of central-right European parties, economically and socially

Yes, though the difference in economic views used to be larger while the social issues gap used to be much smaller or possibly even non existent. Even fifteen years ago it was not unusual to find CDU/CSU politicians that sounded like James Dobson on things like abortion, gay rights, stem cell research or the role of women in society. And some of them remain pretty scary on racial/immigration issues.

But in general I think American liberals are way too generous to the European right. The welfare state that was created in the thirty years following WWII was far more expansive in Europe than in the US, and it's a lot more easy to rail against expansion than it is for massive cuts in benefits.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 3:52 PM
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380

372: well, yeah. I actually tend to think he's actually making the smart play as far as maintaining some level of within-party support, which he would really be fucked without, but he's choosing between levels of being fucked. Not being fucked doesn't seem to be an option for him at this point.

I think he's running a lousy campaign, the latest example being the nonsense with his taxes. He has been running for President for many years, he had plenty of time to come up with a sensible position on taxes and to arrange his affairs so that his personal taxes were consistent with that position. Instead he was declaring a few months ago that only idiot would pay more taxes than the law required and now he is paying more taxes than the law requires. That's on him.

And isn't it the case that he can quietly file an amended return in a couple of years and get the excess amount he paid refunded?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 4:06 PM
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401: that would go over rather badly if he did that after he won.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 4:10 PM
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402: Mitt Romney is financially incentivized to lose the election! Tear up the tax code!


Posted by: Cryptic ne | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 4:14 PM
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d


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 4:25 PM
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385: A big enthusiasm gap like 2010 (all the kids stay home) was probably the only play he had.

That would have been kind of a silly play, though, since midterm elections always have lower voter turnout than presidential elections.

I'm vaguely remembering that the Republican party has been through this before, with an attempted takeover, or at least strong-arming, by hardcore conservatives which eventually resulted in establishment Republicans showing them the door. Maybe during the Ralph Reed era, the Christian Coalition.

Meanwhile! Saturday Night Live had an amusing skit on low information voters, a montage showing a series of undecided voters and titled, roughly "The undecideds have questions. And they want answers."

"When is the election?"
"Who are the candidates? What are their names? And be specific."
"How long does a presidential term last? One year? Two? Three? Life? Because if it's life, we're really not comfortable with that."
"Can women vote?"

and so on. Amusing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 4:53 PM
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He has been running for President for many years, he had plenty of time to come up with a sensible position on taxes and to arrange his affairs so that his personal taxes were consistent with that position.

Only if he had a problem he could solve. I assume he took advantage of the 2009 IRS Swiss-Bank Tax Amnesty, or has something similar in his history. Other explanations suggest, as you do here, that he just kind of forgot that he'd be asked for his tax returns.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 4:58 PM
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I'm feeling pretty good about that early prediction. Ari can dq himself on a technicality if he wants. Spending the better part of a year fretting needlessly about the race is punishment enough.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 5:01 PM
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Megan, you're totes right: I am so not worried that I probably won't even bother to vote. The four of my neighbors with Romney signs on their lawns don't bother me. Obama's got this. Maybe I'll vote for Nader - is he running?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 5:21 PM
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Hey Megan, what were the details of our food security bet. I can't find it in the archives, and I want to get ready for my trip to the Harris Ranch Steakhouse in 2030.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 5:22 PM
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406

Only if he had a problem he could solve. ...

I don't see why he couldn't have easily ensured his rate for 2011 was above 14% if that was such a big deal. Instead of not taking some of his charitable deductions just don't make the charitable contributions in the first place. He could still have paid his tithe and the other stuff could surely wait a year.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 5:22 PM
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Oh good I found it. World "undernourished" population as defined by the FAO has to be less than 12.4% in 2030, and I'll get a free steak.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 5:30 PM
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I don't remember the terms of the bet. Were we technical enough to choose an index to go by? Did we rely on stories of mass starvation? Or available arable land? I don't remember. But whatever it was, I'll win that bet as handily as the one against Ari.

Thanks for being so constructive, parsimon.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 5:31 PM
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Wow, we did have a for-real metric. Cool.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 5:32 PM
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410: Oh, I've been curious about this: is the tithe to the Mormon church a charitable deduction?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 5:32 PM
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414- yes.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 5:50 PM
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Thanks. I figured so.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 5:54 PM
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410: Well, yes, that's silly, but it will cost him approximately nothing.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 6:14 PM
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That's pretty much my take on voting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 7:20 PM
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||

My reaction to David Byrne & St Vincent touring together at first was something like "wait, do these things really go together?", but it turns out they do. Neb nosflow and others who may or may not totally have a crush on Annie Clark should check it out.

|>


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 7:28 PM
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417

Well, yes, that's silly, but it will cost him approximately nothing.

Well it makes me less likely to vote for him. As did the 47% business. Maybe these are just small blunders but at some point they start to add up. If people are going to vote for a bloodless technocrat at least they want one who isn't prone to stupid mistakes.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 9:26 PM
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Is Virgil Goode on the ballot in your state, Shearer?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-23-12 10:05 PM
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If people are going to vote for a bloodless technocrat at least they want one who isn't prone to stupid mistakes.

Bumper sticker.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 3:36 AM
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421

Is Virgil Goode on the ballot in your state, Shearer?

It appears that he is along with seven other people I have never heard of (not quite literally true) and Obama and Romney. Some of them look like real winners.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 5:04 AM
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What is an American Third Position? The Bronze Medallist Party? Some sexual practice that hasn't yet made it to the rest of the world? A fifth column of China and Germany boosters?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 5:21 AM
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424: urple has discovered a completely novel human political act.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 5:23 AM
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424

What is an American Third Position? ...

I initially thought that this was a reference to their being third on the NJ ballot (actually it seems the minor parties are listed in alphabetical order) but a little googling disclosed:

The American Third Position Party (A3P) is a third positionist American political party which promotes white supremacy ...


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 5:46 AM
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Not so novel, then.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 5:50 AM
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Some of them look like real winners.

The NSA DID 911 Party!
http://www.jeffbossforpresident.org/id27.html

MY EYE DOCTOR ADMITTED TO ME THAT THE NSA GAVE HER $20,000 TO KEEP QUIET ABOUT THE NSA DOING THE 911 ATTACKS. ALL THE STAFF AT THE OMNI EYE SURGERY CENTER AT 36 E 36TH ST NYC HAS ALSO BEEN GIVEN THE $20,000 AND THREATENED WITH DEATH IF THEY TELL ANYONE . THE NSA IS ALSO FORCING THE EYE DOCTOR AND STAFF TO ALTER REPORTS,AND LOSE PAPERWORK SO MY WORKMANS COMP ISN'T PAID. AS MANY OF YOU KNOW I WAS ATTACKED BY HUMPHREY HARRIS AT THE EMPIRE STATE BLDG. I LOST PARTIAL EYE SIGHT IN MY LEFT EYE. AND RECEIVED A FRACTURED LEG,AND A CONCUSION, AND A CUT ON THE HEAD REQUIRING MORE THAN 25 STITCHES. I STILL CAn't see out of my left eye properly. the eye doctor ,the cat scan,and all the other reports have been altered, and lost on purpose by the nsa. the nsa doesn't want me to get any money. the normal time for workmans comp to be resolved is 25 days. that is the rule. it is over 100 daYS AND NOTHING HAS HAPPENED . EVERYBODY CAN'T FIND THE INFORMATION,AND WHEN THEY DO FIND THE INFO HAS BEEN ALTERED BY THE NSA.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 8:12 AM
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Did the McMegan takedown get linked yet?

http://exiledonline.com/the-daily-beasts-megan-mcardle-a-covert-republican-party-activist-trained-by-the-billionaire-koch-brothers/


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 9:11 AM
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428: Holy cow, that guy is playing at the Time Cube level of crazy.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 9:16 AM
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294: For names and faces, he's flawless, and I pretend to recognize people by watching him for cues. On food and wine, he's as bad or worse than I am.

At the risk of violating the sanctity of off-blog vegetable shopping, I saw him at the farmer's market on Saturday and, attributing to him the facial recognition skills that actually belong to you and me, I made a big show of explaining who I was, which I think amused him. Then we talked briefly about tomatoes and he vanished, or perhaps I just stopped recognizing him.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 9:37 AM
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429: What's the takeaway? That she's a right-libertarian? That hardly qualifies as a "takedown."


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 11:39 AM
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Huh, he didn't mention it. The tomatoes really are awesome this year.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 11:59 AM
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That Big Libertarian. Is a front for Big Petroleum, maybe


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 12:13 PM
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I'm just glad that after the last move, I've managed to stop habitually reading her.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 12:16 PM
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The International Third Position is basically a flavour of fascism.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 12:22 PM
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Has someone already posted about how Mitt Romney thinks Big Government is why you can't open the windows on airplanes?

When you have a fire in an aircraft, there's no place to go, exactly, there's no -- and you can't find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don't open. I don't know why they don't do that. It's a real problem. So it's very dangerous.

Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 12:25 PM
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432: I dunno. This sort of "expose" makes me think of Media Matters, an organization whose work, on one level, could be regarded as rather trivial. (Fox is a Republican Party organ? I'm shocked, shocked!)

But if you stop bitching about this sort of thing, you've essentially conceded that it's okay. I'll admit, though, that I haven't read the linked McArdle piece beyond the obvious-seeming headline. (McArdle is a Republican Party activist? Who could have guessed?)



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 12:29 PM
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I'm in favor of anything that supports my libertarian-shaming project.

I'm still mad that McMegan doesn't (or didn't?) get the aggressive social shunning she so well deserves.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 12:33 PM
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Speaking of influential right-wing nutjobs, has everyone seen this video of Pat Robertson suggesting, in what appears to be all seriousness (while his co-host keeps desperately trying to play his comments as comic exaggeration), to a man calling to ask for advice about his "rebellious" wife, that he needs to "beat her"?

It's a bit shocking--like his co-host, I wanted to assume he was joking, but he just keeps going on.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 12:36 PM
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439.last: I tried, but they made me go talk to her.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 12:39 PM
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Re: Romney, I'm a bit pleased that my initial impression from his previous run appears to have been fairly accurate. Dude is just straight up not very likeable.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 12:47 PM
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439

I'm still mad that McMegan doesn't (or didn't?) get the aggressive social shunning she so well deserves.

Speaking of McMegan, here she talks to Paul Campos of LGM about the overproduction of lawyers.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-24-12 4:19 PM
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