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Guest Post by Matthew Owen

If you’re sick of hearing the daily onslaught from the TV bobble heads and verbose radio commentators of the latest presidential tracking polls “Romney surging in Rasmussen Report poll” or “Obama gains back ground in CNN poll”, I hate to tell you but it’s all noise. The presidential election is not a national popular election (just ask Al Gore), but rather 50 separate super-charged state races. However instead of voting for governor, each state is voting for President of the United States. In nearly all 50 states, the state’s elector votes are awarded on a winner-take-all basis to the candidate who wins the most votes in each state.

The presidential race is a game, and much like poker, chess or Monopoly, it has its own distinct rules. Our founding fathers set up the Electoral College for each state to have electoral votes based upon their number of Congressional members plus their two United States Senators. This way the lower populated states would have a minimum of three electoral votes. Today we have 538 electors, based on the total voting membership of the United States Congress (435 House of Representatives and 100 Senators) plus three electors from the District of Columbia. Hence we always hear about the magic 270 number to win President (538/2 + 1).

Barring some voter turn-out debacle or miracle, 41 states are already decided. California and their 55 electoral votes are going blue (Democrat) and Texas and their 38 electoral votes are going red (Republican). This leaves nine states, of which five (North Carolina leaning Romney; Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Iowa and Nevada all leaning Obama) are trending one direction or the other. So it doesn’t really matter what national tracking polls show. The 2012 presidential election will come down to four states: Florida, Virginia, Ohio and Colorado.

Nate Silver is now one of the most hated people in America by Fox News and AM Talk Radio because he is predicting a President Obama reelection victory. In defense, Silver is a statistician who started off as a baseball stat geek who created the PETCOA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm) system for evaluating baseball players. He now writes the “538 Blog” for the New York Times. In 2008 he correctly predicted the winner in 49 of 50 states for the presidential election and all 35 U.S. Senate races. In 2010 he correctly predicted the Republicans taking control of the House of Representatives. He is a non-partisan math genius who follows trends and numbers, and unlike certain aspects of our media, he doesn’t have a propaganda agenda.

Silver is predicting an Obama victory simply because the President has a higher percentage chance of winning the Electoral College (270+ votes) with a lead in more of the battleground swing states (see above). Mitt Romney would have to run the table, winning 4 out of the 4 remaining swing states to get 270+ Electoral College votes. The odds of that happening are slim. Possible, but slim.

To put this in a baseball analogy, would you rather be the San Francisco Giants having a 1-run lead in the bottom of the 10th of the World Series or the Detroit Tigers coming up to bat in the bottom of the inning? Statistically speaking, which team has a higher chance of winning?

Another thought to keep in mind is that as a presidential candidate you have to take your home state. Even when George McGovern (D-South Dakota, 1972) and Walter Mondale (D­-Minnesota, 1984) lost the Electoral College state races 49-1, they at least took their respective home states. This year Mitt Romney will lose Massachusetts and Paul Ryan, his Vice President running mate will most likely lose Wisconsin.

Election Day is the one day that each one of us has the same power in this country. Whether you are white or black, young or old, rich or poor, we all have one vote on Election Day. Please exercise your privilege as a United States citizen and vote on Election Day (if you haven’t voted early already).

  1. Eric Kirk
    November 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    By the way, Nate Silver offered a football analogy instead of baseball, giving Obama a lead of a field goal with three minutes left. That was earlier in the week. I think it’s probably the same score at the 2 minute warning now, with Romney trying for an onside kick in Pennsylvania and Michigan as he hasn’t been able to move numbers in Ohio.

    Today’s jobs report should probably be regarded as a sack, with Romney needing to spike the ball to stop the clock.

  2. Anonymous
    November 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    “The presidential race is a game, and much like poker, chess or Monopoly, it has its own distinct rules’

    And basketball? These games have life and death consequences.

    Mud-wrestling to-the-death, maybe.

  3. Mitch
    November 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Forget Nate Silver, forget Faux News, don’t Lean Forward. Just check out what people who are willing to put their money where their mouths are have to say:

    http://www.intrade.com/v4/misc/scoreboard/

  4. St. Paul MN Dan
    November 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    George McGovern did not carry his home state in 1972. He was from South Dakota, not Massachusetts, as was reported incorrectly in the post. Massachusetts was the only state in that election however to have the good sense to choose Senator McGovern over Richard Nixon.

  5. Eric Kirk
    November 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    There was also DC.

    I remember the Watergate era bumper sticker which read, “Don’t blame me, I’m from Massachusetts.”

  6. alley
    November 2, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    It really is pathetic to recall that Nixon was re-elected in ’72 after Watergate had been discovered. Unbelievable.

  7. Eric Kirk
    November 2, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    More on Nate Silver.

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/new-york-times-bully-knocks-stack-of-polls-from-na,30218/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=standard-post:headline:default

    “Hey, Silverdork, I got a poll for you. It says there’s a 90 percent chance that I’m going to beat the shit out of you, what do you think of that?”

  8. Eric Kirk
    November 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Silver’s doubling down now that Dick Morris is waffling.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/02/1154481/-Nate-Silver-Sell-Obama-on-Intrade-Now

  9. November 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    What this means for those of you that live in California is you needn’t fear voting for your real choice, Jill Stein. As I wrote here and elsewhere, Obama has the state locked in. You can get everyone you know to vote for Jill Stein and Obama will still win.

    To paraphrase David Boaz: “It’s better to vote for what you want and lose, than to vote for what you don’t want and win. Now is the time to vote your real choice. If not now, when?

  10. Plain Jane
    November 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    It’s better if Obama wins the popular vote as well as the electoral college, Fred. But nice try.

  11. Eric Kirk
    November 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I like Jill Stein. I’m not convinced that she would make a very effective President.

  12. Anonymous
    November 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Killed her buzz here, Fred.

  13. November 2, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    . I’m not convinced that she would make a very effective President..

    That doesn’t matter. She’s even less likely to win the state than Romney. Voting for Obama or Romney means you believe in our endless wars, the increasing police state and degradation of civil liberties. Voting for Stein will at least say you’re against the wars and degradation of at least some of our civil liberties. I guess that’s not an issue for you “progressives”?

  14. Just Watchin
    November 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Remember during the debate when Joe Biden said : ” I say what I mean, and I mean what I say”? Well, today at a rally in Wisconsin, he said:” There’s never been a day in the last four years that I’ve been proud to be his vice president”.
    You have to admire his honesty. Maybe he’s not the “crazy uncle Joe” that he’s been portrayed as.

  15. November 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    It’s better if Obama wins the popular vote as well as the electoral college….

    Not at all. At least if you’re concerned about our endless wars and the degradation of our civil liberties. There have been some saying lately that if Obama doesn’t win the popular vote, he might not “get as much accomplished” as he wouldn’t feel he had a mandate.

    I’d suggest that’s a good thing, especially if he feels he lost the votes to other candidates that want to end the wars and protect our civil liberties. Maybe he’ll think twice about expanding indefinite detentions and such? Your vote for Jill Stein (or Gary Johnson) can only help in that regard. It certainly won’t hurt.

  16. Anonymous
    November 2, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Anything to hurt Obama, right Fred?

  17. Smart 5th Grader
    November 2, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Anything to hate our President and our Vice-President, eh JW? Gonna fix America with all your hate for the 47%?

  18. Eric Kirk
    November 2, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Anonymous :

    Anything to hurt Obama, right Fred?

    Actually, Fred has been advocating third party voting since long before Obama came to office.

  19. Plain Jane
    November 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Like I said, Fred, “Nice try.” Why would people who like Jill Stein want to deny a mandate to President Obama who, while not a leftist, has a progressive domestic agenda and is doing what is required by his oath of office, protecting this country to the best of his ability using available tools with the assistance (such as it is) of Congress. President Obama can’t run again so whether or not Stein got a lot of votes wouldn’t matter much to him when he is formulating what he believes to be the best policy for this country. The mandate that comes from having the majority vote is a to Congress that his agenda has the country’s support.

    You can’t possibly be that stupid, JW.

  20. Plain Jane
    November 2, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    majority vote is *a message* to Congress *who are running for re-election* that his agenda….

    Sometimes, like Uncle Joe’s mouth, my fingers can’t keep up with my brain.

  21. November 2, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Anonymous :
    Anything to hurt Obama, right Fred?

    I’m an equal opportunity commentator. My comments above apply to Romney just as much as they do with Obama.

    As an aside, here’s a fun YouTube video that runs just over seven and a half minutes.

    Some Obama supporters are asked how they feel about a few policies supposedly espoused by Mitt Romney. The supporters don’t like them, until they find out they’re policies already put in place, or expanded, under Obama. After that, their reactions vary. One guy doesn’t believe Obama is involved with them at all, although to most of us it’s common knowledge.

    As one commentator mentioned elsewhere, you could probably switch the supporters and candidates, and get similar results. This was going to be featured in a future post on my blog regard fraternal partisanship but since I already posted it here, I guess I’ll do something else.

  22. November 2, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    You can’t possibly be that stupid, JW.

    I rest my case. Civil liberties aren’t a concern to many of the “progressives” here.

  23. Anonymous
    November 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Sure they are, Fred.

    Realistically, this election is about Supreme Court appointments.

    The moral thing to do: vote Obama.

  24. Just Watchin
    November 2, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Smart 5th Grader :
    Anything to hate our President and our Vice-President, eh JW? Gonna fix America with all your hate for the 47%?

    No hating.Just quoting the vice president.

  25. Anonymous
    November 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    The idea that voting for the third party candidate is a “safe” protest vote in California because it’s already clear that Obama will win by a large margin and doesn’t “need” your vote — that’s only a “safe” strategy if a small enough number of people actually take that advice. If too many potential Obama supporters in California were to heed that advice, Obama would lose the state and Romney would be elected. In other words, it’s an approach that, in order to be “safe,” relies on it’s own overall failure to persuade very many people.

  26. November 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    … that’s only a “safe” strategy if a small enough number of people actually take that advice..

    There’s no doubt in my mind- although I don’t expect that to be of comfort to you- that Obama wins with more than enough votes to even worry about third parties affecting his win. I say again, you could get everyone you know, and they could get everyone they know, to vote for Stein and he’d still win handily.

  27. November 2, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    …this election is about Supreme Court appointments.

    Desperate to get those Obama votes, aren’t you?

    I’ve heard the SCOTUS thing time and time again and I think that’s a red herring. Despite the supposed conservative vs. liberal split in the court, I’ve yet to see where that really made much of a difference in what comes out of SCOTUS.

    After all, the court right now is supposed to have a conservative majority yet it was a Bush appointee that cast the deciding vote in favor of Obamacare.

    The one thing we can say for sure about the court through the years is it has incrementally given more and more power to The State. It seems as it will continue to do so regardless of who is in the White House.

  28. Eric Kirk
    November 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Fred Mangels :

    You can’t possibly be that stupid, JW.

    I rest my case. Civil liberties aren’t a concern to many of the “progressives” here.

    Well, a useless vote for a dead-end third party wouldn’t do anything for civil liberties.

  29. Anonymous
    November 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Sure, Fred, but if enough people got everyone they know, and those people got everyone they know, and they all vote for Stein, then Obama could lose. So, again, it’s a strategy that relies on it’s own overall failure, in order to “succeed.”

    I have no problem with people voting third party if that’s what they want to do (I have done so plenty of times myself), but don’t expect it to make any significant positive impact — experience shows that those “protest votes” will be ignored unless the race is very very close, and if the race IS very very close, then the protest voting will almost certainly help whichever candidate is least-preferred by the majority of the protest voters. Sorry, that’s just the way it works, and will continue to work, until we enact some form of runoff voting (instant or otherwise), and/or find a third-party candidate who draws votes more or less equally from the two major party candidates, and/or one who could plausibly achieve at least a plurality.

  30. Plain Jane
    November 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    What does “You can’t possibly be that stupid, JW” have to do with civil liberties? That was in response to silly post about VP Biden’s little misspeak.

  31. Anonymous
    November 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Obama is one of the best con men I’ve ever seen. PJ is a great mark, as is app 1/2 of the voting public. The prezie is a lefty and that’s just the crack ,Jack! It is really the only thing the man does well. Con’n you lib-o marks.

  32. Mitch
    November 2, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    For those who use “Obamacare” as their indicator that the President is a lefty, this review of President Nixon’s 1974 health care proposal might be a surprise. Unless, of course, from your point of view President Nixon was a lefty.

    http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/stories/2009/september/03/nixon-proposal.aspx

  33. Anonymous
    November 2, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I urge all potential Romney voters in California who are animated by the desire for a smaller, less intrusive government to vote for Gary Johnson in order to make a strong statement in favor of their libertarian values. You need not worry that this might hurt Romney, since as Fred points out, the Electoral College outcome in California is a foregone conclusion anyway. And I swear that I am not just offering this advice because if enough potential Romney voters follow this advice this could help Obama win the popular vote nationally.

  34. Anonymous
    November 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Mitch,

    Well that was 1974, but remember that Nixon went to China in 1972. Obviously they brainwashed him and sent him back with his head all filled up with commie ideas.

  35. Plain Jane
    November 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Since Romney prefers the Chinese business environment to that of the US, what does that say about him?

  36. Anonymous
    November 2, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    That he loves cheap labor, doesn’t mind if the system he profits off of is built on a foundation of desperately impoverished, overworked, underpaid workers, including child labor and prison labor, that he doesn’t care about environmental standards or labor rights, that he is only interested in quick profits for himself, his cronies and their ilk, and doesn’t give a rat’s ass about his fellow Americans…

    Oh, sorry, I guess that was a rhetorical question.

  37. Leo Trotsky
    November 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    If it’s all a game, why not swing for the fence? I’m with Fred: if you can’t vote your OWN conscience you’re letting someone else tell you how to vote.

  38. Just Watchin
    November 2, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Fred Mangels :
    You can’t possibly be that stupid, JW.
    I rest my case. Civil liberties aren’t a concern to many of the “progressives” here.

    Fred…….given PJs admitted heavy drug use, I pay no attention to her rambling. She needs help.

  39. Plain Jane
    November 2, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    You are an idiot and a liar, JW. I have never said, implied, claimed or otherwise “admitted” to heavy drug use. I said I had used psychedelic drugs in my youth, but that isn’t heavy or current drug use. The fact that you can’t understand what an idiotic statement Fred made about my response to your silliness about Biden makes my case.

  40. November 2, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    You need not worry that this might hurt Romney, since as Fred points out, the Electoral College outcome in California is a foregone conclusion anyway..

    Not sure if #33 is being sarcastic, but it’s true. Romney votes are a waste, too. He’s not going to win this state. There’s no reason not to vote Gary Johnson, or Virgil Goode (Constitution Party candidate- Religious Right).

    Even if the election ends up close, so what? Those of you supporting endless war, the police state and the degradation of civil liberties, have nothing to worry about. Either Romney or Obama will keep that movement alive.

    What you will be doing by opting out of the two party squabble is saying you’ve had enough and nobody is entitled to your vote. You’ll be saying you want issues addressed that weren’t even brought up in the staged two party “debates”.

    This is the perfect opportunity to vote for what you really want. I might not be making this spiel if I thought there was a significant difference between the two candidates, but for the major issues, I just don’t see it.

    I’ve been hearing for umpteen years that every election is too important to “waste votes”. I might have even said that myself 25 or so years ago. I might have even felt sympathy for that idea, back during Bush vs. Gore, for instance. But I’ve been proven wrong. Now is the perfect time to vote for who you really want. Again: If not now, when?

  41. November 2, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Just Watchin :

    Fred Mangels :
    You can’t possibly be that stupid, JW.
    I rest my case. Civil liberties aren’t a concern to many of the “progressives” here.

    Fred…….given PJs admitted heavy drug use, I pay no attention to her rambling. She needs help.

    There’s no need for personal insults like that here, aside from the fact that I took plenty of drugs myself back in the day.

  42. Thirdeye
    November 3, 2012 at 1:16 am

    Mitch :
    For those who use “Obamacare” as their indicator that the President is a lefty, this review of President Nixon’s 1974 health care proposal might be a surprise. Unless, of course, from your point of view President Nixon was a lefty.
    http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/stories/2009/september/03/nixon-proposal.aspx

    Today, Nixon would be called a RINO. But he helped start the trend with the southern strategy.

  43. Anonymous
    November 3, 2012 at 7:38 am

    alley :
    It really is pathetic to recall that Nixon was re-elected in ’72 after Watergate had been discovered. Unbelievable.

    The media didn’t wake up to the importance of Watergate until after the election because of the Nixon administration stonewalling.

    This is somewhat similiar to our current Libyagate. The difference is this time the Obama administration coverup has the full help of the media. There is the question of whether the media will bother uncovering up the lies even after the election.

    This time the scandal isn’t just a lying White House but also a lying media.

  44. Just Watchin
    November 3, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Unfair comparison of Libyagate and Watergate……….no one died in Watergate.

  45. Just Watchin
    November 3, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Fred…….I just read on another thread that PJ blames the JFK assasination on a right wing conspiracy.
    I rest my case.

  46. lumpy swine barn
    November 3, 2012 at 8:34 am

    That was an interesting post. Thanks. Even as one who follows the elections, I’ve wondered why all the emphasis comes down to certain states seemingly random states.

  47. November 3, 2012 at 8:59 am

    I was reading a piece from the Future of Freedom Foundation on George McGovern. It included this little tidbit I found not only funny but a good example of the unexpected consequences of voting for candidates based on campaign rhetoric. For those that might not get it, Goldwater and McGovern lost. Enjoy:

    “There was a joke in the 1960s that went something like this: “In ’64, I was told that if I voted for Goldwater, we’d be at war in Vietnam. And they were right; I voted for Goldwater, and we went to war in Vietnam.” Well, a similar joke could have been made regarding the ’72 election: “In ’72, I was told that if I voted for McGovern, we’d retreat from Vietnam, the welfare state would expand, and the economy would tank. And they were right; I voted for McGovern, and we retreated from Vietnam, the welfare state expanded, and the economy tanked.”

  48. Anonymous
    November 3, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Glad that you have a vague understanding of 7th grade civics. The reality that Cali is a Dem/prog/lib cesspool was not covered. Or that our area is a breeding ground for entitlement/handout/dogooders. Maybe Owen is trying to walk a thin tight wire but where will he land ?

  49. November 3, 2012 at 9:18 am

    “trying to walk a thin tight wire”

    Huh? All Owen is doing in the post is stating a few noncontroversial (and fairly obvious) facts. That’s a thin tight wire these days? *Sigh.* Maybe so.

  50. A pesky fact
    November 3, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Good stuff.

    As a side note:

    1) The US House has not expanded past 435 in a century. Until then it regulary increases in size to accommodate the rising population. This also has a constant direct impact on the electoral college. In 1912 there was 1 presidential elector (EV) for every 200k people.

    2) Direct election of senators sucks. And has really hurt the nation. What was viewed as a populous reform has actually removed accountability.

    2)

  51. A pesky fact
    November 3, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Lost in the fray of 3rd party discussion is the matter of goalposts.

    5% of the national popular vote (IIRC) gives the entire party federal matching funds in all it’s federal elections, and some other neat stuff too (for X number of years, 10 maybe?)l

    From the perspective of optimal strategic voting, the best long term strategy is probably something like getting both Stein and Johnson over the 5% threshold in a single election.

  52. Plain Jane
    November 3, 2012 at 10:42 am

    JW, like most frightwingers, has a bad case of functional illiteracy. Every word in a sentence has meaning. The sentence you paraphrased was paraphrased incorrectly. The word “superficially” means on the surface. “Superficially compelling case” means on the surface it looks accurate, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I believe that the right wing (Bush/CIA in particular) assassinated JFK, although I admit after more research I am leaning in that direction. If you saw the evidence presented, you might agree; but then again you probably lack the intelligence to keep it all straight for an hour.

  53. Just Watchin
    November 3, 2012 at 11:17 am

    JW……first you say that you don’t necessarily believe it, then you say that you do. You better put down the pipe for a while.

  54. Anonymous
    November 3, 2012 at 11:19 am

    APF,

    Do you really believe that U.S. Senators appointed by legislatures will be more “accountable” to the people than those directly elected by the people? I think all that would do is to interpose another layer of political insulation between the senators and their constituents, leaving the U.S. Senators from each state more responsive to party leaders and politicians in the state legislature and less directly accountable to the public. I agree that our federal senators are less responsive to the needs of the public than they are to special interests and party powerbrokers, but I think going back to having those senators appointed by state legislatures would only make the problem even worse.

  55. Plain Jane
    November 3, 2012 at 11:35 am

    That isn’t what I said at all, JW. “Leaning” in a certain direction doesn’t mean that’s direction I will go. Again your functional illiteracy is evident. Maybe you should postpone your heavy drinking until you have turned off your computer for the day since you appear to be talking to yourself.

  56. A pesky fact
    November 3, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Anon 11:19,

    The thinking of The Fathers was this: senators beholden to legislatures will ensure the balance of power remains tipped in favor of the many states.

    Let me provide a concrete modern example. All sorts of federal funding for states (highway funds being the best known) are dependent upon the states doing certain things. Speed limits and drinking ages among them.

    When Senators are elected (not appointed) by state houses, such coercion becomes impossible. A senator votes for a budget that coerces the state house on matters? He becomes an ex-senator in short order. This results in the federal government having less money and less power, and the many states being the laboratories of democracy.

    The house of representatives represents the people, the senate the states themselves. The federal government being a union of states, the states being a union of people.

    The more empowered the state house, the more empowered the people of the state. What occurred by directly electing senators was a massive disempowering of people, by disempowering states (which have become largely arbitrary administrative districts on behalf of DC).

  57. Anonymous
    November 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    I’m waiting for the “Guest Post” by Matthew Owen where he rationalizes the lack of response to Rob Arkley’s recent comment: “Frankly it’s (the Marina Center) not my priority right now given the east-west rail,”

    Owen supported and worked with city council candidates who ran on platforms of “Marina Center Now” (the Brady Bunch) and demanded that this horrible place (blight, etc) be cleaned up. So why is he and these candidates not outraged by this statement and Arkley’s change in direction. Will we see a future adds of Brady on a bike in front of the Balloon Track saying, “well it’s not so bad” “What I really meant was Marina Center in ten years or so, or maybe not at all”.

  58. November 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Tell us, pesky, when “The Fathers” designed the Senate, were they thinking in terms of big square midwestern and Western states with tiny populations mostly employed by monocrop or mining corporations?

    I think getting 1/3 of the modern Senate — enough to protect a veto — only requires Senators that “represent” about five or ten percent of the United States population. But don’t let that interfere with Father worship.

  59. A pesky fact
    November 3, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Mitch,

    You’re catching on.

    Maybe the intent was precisely to slow down business in DC, ensuring that things at the federal level only had broad approval from both the representatives of the people, and the states? Thus delegating the vast majority of legislation to the states.

    Broad political compromises (without using federal monies as bribes to purchase said compromises) were intended to be the only way to conduct business at the federal level.

    It’s no accIdent that the House was last expanded in 1910, the income tax and direct election if senators occurred in 1913, promptly accompanied by the federal reserve being established (1913).

    On a side note, the filibuster is an accident and was not intended to be part of the broader senate rules.

  60. November 3, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Yes, pesky, we both know that the Senate was intended as a brake to buffer populist passions. But it was never intended as or anticipated to be a prize obtainable by a few corporations able to buy Senators cheaply. That’s what it is today.

  61. Anonymous
    November 3, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    ‘When Senators are elected (not appointed) by state houses… A senator votes for a budget that coerces the state house on matters? He becomes an ex-senator in short order.”

    I don’t see how that’s any better than the simpler, more direct line of accountability wherein if the people of that state have a major problem with the senator’s budget vote or the way it “coerces” the states by putting conditions on federal spending, they can directly vote that senator out of office, without needing the state legislature to do it for them.

  62. A pesky fact
    November 3, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Anon,

    Herr is what you are missing;

    It wasn’t intended to be 1) better or 2) simpler. It was intended to be 3) different.

    Thats the concept behind the American checks and balances.

    The house= the people’s body
    The senate= the state’s body

    The founders did not envision repitition of checks, rather, a diversity of them. By going to direct election, an entire plank of that was eliminated (at the same time the expansion of the house ceased, the federal reserve enacted, and federal income tax levied).

  63. Anonymous
    November 3, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Anonymous :
    I’m waiting for the “Guest Post” by Matthew Owen where he rationalizes the lack of response to Rob Arkley’s recent comment: “Frankly it’s (the Marina Center) not my priority right now given the east-west rail,”
    Owen supported and worked with city council candidates who ran on platforms of “Marina Center Now” (the Brady Bunch) and demanded that this horrible place (blight, etc) be cleaned up. So why is he and these candidates not outraged by this statement and Arkley’s change in direction. Will we see a future adds of Brady on a bike in front of the Balloon Track saying, “well it’s not so bad” “What I really meant was Marina Center in ten years or so, or maybe not at all”.

    The answer is simple if only you would stop to think. The economy is terrible no matter what Obama & the media tell you and it is in danger of slipping into another recession in January (especially if Obama is re-elected). The Marina Center will happen but not for awhile.

  64. Anonymous
    November 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Oh I see. The lack of clean up is no longer the fault of Larry Glass or Linda Atkins; it’s now Obama’s fault. Wow, thanks for showing me how to “think”.

  65. Thirdeye
    November 3, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Anonymous :

    Anonymous :
    I’m waiting for the “Guest Post” by Matthew Owen where he rationalizes the lack of response to Rob Arkley’s recent comment: “Frankly it’s (the Marina Center) not my priority right now given the east-west rail,”
    Owen supported and worked with city council candidates who ran on platforms of “Marina Center Now” (the Brady Bunch) and demanded that this horrible place (blight, etc) be cleaned up. So why is he and these candidates not outraged by this statement and Arkley’s change in direction. Will we see a future adds of Brady on a bike in front of the Balloon Track saying, “well it’s not so bad” “What I really meant was Marina Center in ten years or so, or maybe not at all”.

    The answer is simple if only you would stop to think. The economy is terrible no matter what Obama & the media tell you and it is in danger of slipping into another recession in January (especially if Obama is re-elected). The Marina Center will happen but not for awhile.

    The surest way back into a recession at this point is the Romneybagger slash and burn approach to the federal budget. Private sector employment is up. Private sector wages are down. Government employment is down. The game of offsetting declining compensation with loose credit is played out.

  66. November 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    What’s it take to be an “effective” President Kirk? Sell your soul to the Devil?

    Eric Kirk :
    I like Jill Stein. I’m not convinced that she would make a very effective President.

  67. Anonymous
    November 3, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Thirdeye said: “The surest way back into a recession at this point is the Romneybagger slash and burn approach to the federal budget. Private sector employment is up. Private sector wages are down. Government employment is down. The game of offsetting declining compensation with loose credit is played out.”

    Well put, Thirdeye.

  68. Anonymous
    November 4, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    A sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    How can any sane person vote to re-elect Obama?

  69. Anonymous
    November 6, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Slick, Matt getting cred from Heraldo’s. SAD, really.

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