Posted by Brad @ 5:01 pm on November 28th 2012

Factoids about the election results, now that the counting is basically over

– Mitt Romney won an ironic 47%.

– Obama’s margin over Romney is up to 4.4 million votes.

– Obama’s “mandate”, in every respect, is much, much larger than Bush’s was when he was reelected.

– There’s no state where the margin between Romney and Obama could have been erased by a switch of third party votes. Florida comes closest, but the margin is about 15,000 votes greater than the total vote for all third parties. (via Weigel)

Posted by Brad @ 1:34 pm on November 26th 2012

Do You Trust Mitt Romney with Obama’s Kill List?

Remember when the enterprising video blogger went around asking Democrats that question? Nobody answered, and most thought the question itself was stupid.

Well, it turns out that Obama himself though the question was valid…and that his answer was “no”.

Facing the possibility that President Obama might not win a second term, his administration accelerated work in the weeks before the election to develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones, so that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures, according to two administration officials.

The matter may have lost some urgency after Nov. 6.

It is worth noting, as almost a sidebar (which is itself ridiculous), that those “explicit rules”, by definition of the method of their creation, would have been up to Romney to choose whether he cared to follow, or revise, or just discard.

As Matt Welch chillingly notes:

The point of constitutional governance is that the legal structure for and oversight of executive power is not a task for the executive itself. The fact that a president (and former constitutional law professor) would think otherwise vividly illustrates how far from that bedrock concept we have strayed.

Glenn Greenwald, of course, has more thoughts.

[I]t is genuinely inconceivable [to Democrats and Obama supporters] that a leader as noble, kind and wise as Barack Obama would abuse his assassination and detention powers. It isn’t just rank partisan opportunism or privilege that leads them not to object to Obama’s embrace of these radical powers and the dangerous theories that shield those powers from checks or scrutiny. It’s that they sincerely admire him as a leader and a man so much that they believe in their heart (like Obama himself obviously believes) that due process, checks and transparency are not necessary when he wields these powers. Unlike when a GOP villain is empowered, Obama’s Goodness and his wisdom are the only safeguards we need.

This was precisely – and I mean precisely – the thinking behind Bush supporters as well, incidentally. There is no daylight between them and Obama supporters on this matter.

As stark an example of Kip’s Law as I can conceive of.

Posted by Brad @ 5:24 pm on November 16th 2012

Israel Has Gone Insane

And I’m not talking about the actual military action, or right to self defense, or whatever.

I’m talking about whoever is running its Twitter feed and social media campaign.

Posted by Brad @ 1:00 am on November 14th 2012

Miami – Toronto

SS Jose Reyes
RHP Josh Johnson
LHP Mark Buehrle
INF Emilio Bonifacio
C John Buck

SS Yunel Escobar
INF Adeiny Hechavarria
RHP Henderson Alvarez
C Jeff Mathis
LHP Justin Nicolino
OF Jake Marisnick
RHP Anthony DeSclafani

Still needs to be approved, by my goodness.

So, yes, Jeffrey Loria is the biggest scumbag owner in sports. I think that’s settled for the year. And man does this suck for baseball fans in Miami (and taxpayers).

There will be lots of analysis in the coming weeks about the deal, and about how the pure baseball of it you can twist yourself a bit to make some kind of rationalization on behalf of the Marlins. But that only works if you have ownership committed to sticking with a long term rebuilding plan, or if they raped a farm system of all its best prospects. Being a Toronto fan, I’ve been watching all these new Marlins for some time (I watch about 100 Jays games a year and that’s obviously not counting reading blogs), and while there is not a bad one in the bunch (save Mathis), the only ones that could ever project to be impact guys are Nicolino and Marisnick – and both are far, far from certain, and at least three years off regardless. This is not a bad enough deal to get nixed by MLB – it is not suicidal, and like I said you could make a case. But it certainly does destroy baseball in Miami for a decade from a fan perspective.

For my Jays – holy christ. Looks, they took on a lot of payroll, and there are certainly still question marks with every single impact or potential impact guy on the team. But assuming a regression to the mean (both up and down) for both the players in Toronto and the players coming over from Miami, coupled with the fact that they could not get LESS lucky than last year, this is a team that should have jumped 15 wins in an evening. AND ownership (Rogers Communications, the only media company to own a baseball team and the largest media company in Canada) just put their money where their mouth is in regards to expanding payroll to compete now, which is exciting in its own right, nevermind the pieces coming over. I can’t think of a trade that transformed both franchises (for good and ill) in one fell swoop as much as this one.

In any case, Jeff Loria should probably go to jail even if they have to invent a law to book him on, and Alex Anthopoulos really does deserve to be considered the best young GM in baseball.

Posted by Brad @ 5:01 pm on November 13th 2012

What the F

Man, this whole Petraeus this just gets weirder and weirder.

—Incredibly important General has affair with Lady A.

—Lady A gets convinced Lady B is also having an affair; sends threatening emails.

—Lady B gets FBI involved.

—FBI agent assigned to case gets infatuated with Lady B, starts sending her shirtless photos, gets pulled off case.

—In investigating threatening emails from Lady A to Lady B, read Lady B’s emails, find tons of inappropriate emails from completely different incredibly important general.

—Shirtless pic FBI agent contacts Republicans in Congress concerned the FBI isn’t taking investigation seriously.

All of which calls to mind this.

“What did we learn Palmer?”
“I don’t know sir.”
“I don’t fucking know either. I guess we learned not to do it again.”
“Yes sir.”
“Although fucked if I know what we did.”
“Yes sir. It’s hard to say.”

Posted by Brad @ 3:19 pm on November 12th 2012


Ask a Network Head: Why Doesn’t MTV Play Music Videos Anymore?

Posted by Brad @ 1:34 pm on November 12th 2012

Great Moments in Republican Navel-Gazing Ledes

Maggie Gallagher, National Review, quoted verbatim:

How Not to Appeal to Latinos

I’ve been processing the immediate debate on this, including Hannity’s “I’ve evolved on a pathway to citizenship” and Rush Limbaugh’s continuing appreciation of Heather Mac Donald.

I appreciate Heather, too, but I want to make a new case: Latinos are not opposed to sensible immigration policy. They are opposed to rhetoric that suggests that conservatives do not care about them.

I particularly it’s particularly wrong to suggest that the way forward is for business and economic conservatives to take the lead. It will tear up the base.

This is the moment for Southern Baptists.

By the way, she actually makes a perfectly reasonable argument (although really I think making a social conservative case for immigration reform does more as an “in” for softening up the Republican base on the issue than it does for Latinos softening up to the Republican base).

But man did I do a spit take on that lede.

Maggie Gallagher is very much a hammer seeing nail, nail, nail, nail.

Oh evangelical social conservative Southerners. Is there any problem you can’t solve?

Posted by Brad @ 1:07 pm on November 12th 2012

Turns out there WAS some voter fraud this year

Every year, out of well over a hundred million votes cast, there is usually, maybe, 6 or 7 cases (and one or two prosecutions) for vote fraud – in almost all cases, it usually turns out to be chalked up to stupidity rather than malicious intent.

But this year, at least two voters were discovered who actively tried to game the system to vote twice.

Let’s meet them, shall we?

Posted by Brad @ 2:28 am on November 10th 2012

Music Video of the After-Election

Not safe for work.

Goldishack Guerrillas – Bulldozer

Posted by Brad @ 1:51 pm on November 9th 2012

The 2016 Benches

Before we christen a new permanent Democratic majority, at least on the national stage, one thing to consider: the Republicans have one hell of a deep bench for the Presidential race of 2016. More so than at any point in nearly 20 years, I think. Here are some candidates I would consider very likely to run, and very strong candidates if they do:

Chris Christie
Marco Rubio
Paul Ryan
Rand Paul
Bob McDonnell
Nikki Haley

With a few that may well run, and to varying degrees could be strong (although most probably not):

Bobby Jindal
Mike Pence
Rick Santorum
Jeb Bush
Bobby Jindal
Jim Thune
Scott Walker
Rob Portman

Given the last two open primaries for the Republicans, the surrogate campaigning, as well as the shift in swing states, the vast majority of those candidates are going to battle-tested, come in with name ID and organization and major donors ready to pour in buckets money. Almost all those folks, in other words, will come in ready to rock.

On the Democratic side, I think it starts with an if/then. If Hilary runs, she’s anointed in the primary (and I think she runs). If not though…presuming Biden doesn’t run (and he might, but so what), who does that leave? Deval Patrick, Andrew Cuomo, Mark Warner…ugh…Martin O’Malley? That San Antonio mayor?

No, likely it’ll be much more like the 2004 or 1992 – some party elders that aren’t particularly popular coupled with a crop of charismatic but untested first timers and “oh, isn’t that that guy…?) types (think Lieberman/Kerry/Edwards/Dean/Clark, or Tsongas/Brown/Clinton/Kerrey/Harkin). The best you can say about it is it won’t be as bad the Republicans in 2012. The GOP may look a lot more like the Democrats in 2008, Republicans in 2000 or 1996 or 1980.

It is also unclear to me the extent to which the Obama Campaign Machine translates to anybody but Obama (a post for another day, but I partly think his small donors base and ground game is in part to him being as much a cultural icon as a political one – translating that to another candidate won’t be a matter of just giving over voter rolls and donor lists).

Of course, I think the Democrats have a better shot at lightning striking ala Clinton in 92, so in that sense they have a puncher’s chance. But the GOP will be set up damn well.

Something to think about.

Posted by Brad @ 12:20 am on November 9th 2012

“Obamacare is the Law of the Land”

So says John Boehner. And a million incredibly naive Republican voters across the land cry little red tears tonight.

Posted by Brad @ 12:30 pm on November 8th 2012

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Just a random roundup of stuff from the election.

1. Jeff Flake is a Senator, as is Elizabeth Warren. I am happy with both.

2. Michelle Bachmann narrowly won. That sucks. Also, no gay Republican in MA, and maybe Allen West.

3. Gay marriage won in more ways than you probably realize.

4. And all those SuperPAC and wealthy donors buying the election got pretty much no return on the many hundreds of millions they spent. Are losing Republican campaigns essentially a tax on the 1%?

5. Nate Silver, turns out, correctly called every state of the union (presuming Florida gets formally called for Obama). It was more than a vindication – it was a straight up pimp slap to every rose-tinted right-leaning commentator trying to arrange the tea leaves into the configuration that met their confirmation bias needs. And the good news is their complaints were so starkly and so objectively refuted by reality that it’ll be hard for them to make the same mistake, at least to the same level, again.

5A. As an addendum, here is how the pollsters did. In particular, pay attention to Rasmussen and Gallup, identified as the bellweathers as to conservative assumptions on this election as Rojas talked about the other day.

6. Did you know Virginia passed an anti-emminent domain amendment to their constitution via referendum on Tuesday?

7. Am I the only one that got really mad about media reaction to marijuana victories? Just chuckles and munchies jokes all night long. You’d think the millions of mostly poor minorities rotting in jail cells or the families of the tens of thousands killed in the War on Drugs every year wouldn’t find it so funny. But that’s the luxury that wealthy white people have on the issue.

8. The one minority group Mitt Romney advanced for the GOP? Jews. Mitt improved the GOP vote share for Jews by 10% over McCain in 2000.

9. Something to watch: A LOT of the Republican intelligentsia seem to have cemented a Chris Christie resentment – places like the Corner keep mentioning it, and guys like Dick Morris had the audacity to claim that he was wrong in predicting a Romney landslide but it was because Christie made the difference for Obama and was essentially an October surprise. I think it really helped Christie nationally and with general audiences, but when he runs in 2016, except a lot colder reception than you might otherwise expect. These kinds of people have long memories, and hold a grudge.

10. I agree with Farhad Manjoo. The big winner in the media? Forget Twitter, social media, or the web. Straight up television is still the place to go for election night coverage.

11. Gary Johnson did pull in over a million votes, but didn’t quite crack 1%. Ultimately he wound up with 1.14 million or so.

12. Looking forward to immigration being a big legislative battle – and big internal GOP debate, one that will go way, way beyond anything shoving Marco Rubio forward can fix. This election, in many ways, may have been the electoral coming of age of Latinos in America. Coates:

I am hearing a great deal of talk about “appealing to Hispanics” and “appealing to women.” But I am not hearing much about endorsing actual policies. What happened last night is not a matter of cosmetics. This is not false consciousness. This a real response to real policies. Mitt Romney actually endorsed Arizona’s immigration policies. You can’t fix this by flashing more pictures of brown people.

This is not a “branding problem.” This is a “problem problem.” Latino voters didn’t go crazy. Latino voters went voter.

And, it should be noted, it’s not just immigration that Latinos care about. Health care and jobs moved them as much as anything.

13. That Puerto Rico vote is also pretty neat. I really hope that gets seriously considered – still can’t quite fathom what the problem is.

Anyway, any bits and pieces that struck you guys?

Posted by Jack @ 1:06 pm on November 7th 2012

I believe I am owed a bottle of scotch…
Or will we need to wait the full five years before the inevitable is acknowledged?

Posted by Rojas @ 7:45 pm on November 6th 2012

Election night live discussion


Posted by Cameron @ 7:29 pm on November 6th 2012

How are you folks following the results?

I’m mostly bouncing between CNN and the NYT. Though I am not watching any coverage, getting everything online.

Posted by Rojas @ 1:58 pm on November 6th 2012

Tiens ta foy

In 2000, Muslim Americans voted by a 70% majority for George W. Bush. 9/11 happened, and the GOP went crazy. In 2004, approximately 4% of Muslim Americans voted to re-elect him. And then things got exponentially worse. Rany Jazayerli, Syrian-American and probably the most prominent Kansas City Royals fan on the web, discusses the matter at great length in a post which I insist that you read the entirety of.

I cannot fault anyone who chooses to cast a default anti-GOP vote over Republican treatment of Muslim Americans. It is a shame of historical proportions. And as Rany points out, it may very well cost Republicans the White House today:

There is simply no way that I can justify voting for a party that denies the very legitimacy of my identity as an American. And there is no way that I can justify voting for any member of that party that does not, in the strongest possible terms, denounce that view. Nor can most other members of the American Muslim community, who just happen to be clustered in swing states like Ohio, Virginia, and Florida. If Nate Silver is right, not only will Romney lose the election, but it can be safely said that if the Muslim community had voted the same way they had in 2000, he would have won.

Posted by Brad @ 11:15 am on November 6th 2012

I Voted

And for the first time in years, I didn’t feel good about it. I was enthusiastic about precisely none of my votes (save a soft spot for a perpetual state libertarian also-ran), which were all over the place.

My ballot below. Tell me about yours.


Posted by Rojas @ 12:39 pm on November 2nd 2012

Things I still care about re: the election

We appear to have ceased to be a political blog in the sense that we were four years ago. This is not surprising in the sense that the pet issues of this site’s most active bloggers have no major party advocate in the Presidential race. No matter who wins the Presidency, no matter who wins Congress, the role of the government in the social and economic lives of citizens will expand, and the protections of individual citizens from government abuses will erode.

Nonetheless, I will stay up Tuesday night to follow the returns, and I will primarily be following four stories. (more…)

Posted by Brad @ 9:05 pm on November 1st 2012

There is apparantly an election or something going on next week?

Not sure. Judging by the blog, it’s been kind of a slow news season.