Open thread: who will win the US elections?


by Don Paskini    
2:22 pm - October 31st 2012

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Less than one week to go til the US elections, so let’s have an open thread about what you think is going to happen. Will Sunny’s campaigning help power Obama to re-election, or will Mitt Romney and his billionaire backers prevail? Predictions can be as general or specific as you would like, and the person who gets closest will have the glory of being the inaugural Liberal Conspiracy election prediction winner!

For all the latest news about the election, I read Five Thirty Eight and Daily Kos Elections. Any other recommendations gratefully received…

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About the author
Don Paskini is deputy-editor of LC. He also blogs at donpaskini. He is on twitter as @donpaskini
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Reader comments


Smart money is on the president, he seems to always come out on top

2. flyingrodent

(Don King voice): Politics will be the winner in this fight.

3. Chaise Guevara

Sunny will definitely be the deciding factor ;)

I’ve assumed Obama would take it for awhile, but I suppose this storm could have a negative effect.

It will certainly, as seems likely, be ironic if the effects of global warming evidenced by Hurrican Sandy lose it for Romney who only last week looked sure to win because of the opportunity it has given Obama to look all presidential. Climate denier’s blow back. The race war will have to wait another four years.

5. Chaise Guevara

@ 4

What race war would this be?

Nate Silver has Obama down at about 77% chance to win, with Romney at 23%. He’s apparently quite good at these predictions so I’d go with Obama.

Obama will win. I do hope the americans aren’t daft enough to vote for Romney. At least the ones he considers as takers.

“Will Sunny’s campaigning help power Obama to re-election, or will Mitt Romney and his billionaire backers prevail?”

Well firstly Obama has some of the wealthiest people in the country backing him. Secondly, I don’t think Sunny’s contribution has done diddly squat (sorry Sunny)

In any event…does it actually matter? The political establishment in the US (and the UK come to think of it) is pretty much the same.

For what its worth, I think Obama will win though.

All those worried about the storm, don’t. That is not how elections really work in the states. The votes are not directly attributable to the person. You have to win the electoral colleges. So in order for the storm to have a direct impact on the election entire states would have to change from democrate to republican, which is very likely to happen. So while there may be less votes cast it is unlikely to actually change the majority of the state.

It will either be the American people of Mitt Romney. But not both.

Oops that should read “the American people OR Mitt Romney. Not both.” but you knew that anyway…

Obama seems to be clawing back most of the losses since the first debate, and he has always been well ahead in terms of predicted electoral colleges, if not the popular vote.

Perhaps the electorate will contrast how much better his administration handled this last hurricane relative to the Katrina debacle under Bush. Even the Republicans are admitting as much. Bin Laden was also caught on Obama’s watch, which will be popular amongst swing voters, and economic growth seems to be improving. All factors in his favour

The only threat is the tightening of electoral qualification rules such as identification. This was supposed to stop fraud, but has probably been introduced by Republican states to minimise the ethnic and poor vote.

12. Chaise Guevara

@ 8 Freeman

Fair point on the storm – but the other risk is that it could hurt him across America if he’s seen to have responded weakly to the crisis (or falsely accused of doing so by the media).

13. the a&e charge nurse

Beginning in the 1970s, economic growth slowed and the income gap widened.
Income growth for households in the middle and lower parts of the distribution slowed sharply, while incomes at the top continued to grow strongly.
The concentration of income at the very top of the distribution rose to levels last seen more than 80 years ago (during the “Roaring Twenties”).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI5EY5kqiBU&feature=relmfu

Joe Quimby.

Obama would be my choice and Sandy certainly could give him an advantage. It has essentially suspended campaigning for Romney while Obama has the chance to deal with disaster. He gets to organise the emergency response while Romney organises a canned food drive. Assuming there are no serious blunders Obama will reaffirm his Presidential credentials.

As to the eventual winner I’m no expert on the polls but I think that Freeman is wrong to discount the potential influence of the disaster. You don’t need to see an entire state change it’s votes. There are a group of undecided voters who could be swayed to vote for either one or the other or to stay home. Events like this can cause a short term shift in this group.

You are right about Sunny’s influence on the election though.

I dedect little ethusiasm for Romney in the wider world, including the centre-right parties in Europe, which is worrying enough because America is certainly in need of friends abroad in these uncertain and perilous times. The Middle East is in one of its more volatile phases and that requires a flexible mindset with an inclination towards finding a peaceful settlement rather than some ideological impulsion towards more wars. The fact is that America is still recovering from the last Republican president.

“Who will win the US elections?”

The banks, the oil companies, the arms manufacturers, the corporate media, the cheapskate employers, the medical insurance biz…

“Same as it ever was…”

@16 Well Romney’s little whistle stop tour of Europe managed to see him piss off quite a few of the nations he visited, which might be where the resultant lack of appetite for him comes from.

@11

The only threat is the tightening of electoral qualification rules such as identification. This was supposed to stop fraud, but has probably been introduced by Republican states to minimise the ethnic and poor vote.

Indeed, though it’s also quite an indication as to the Republican’s confidence in their chosen runner.

17. The Judge

What he said ….

Obama

It’s looking like Ohio will be the decider, one way or the other.

Obama may benefit from the storm. Romney had some momentum building, and the Libya story is no longer so important.

It was an Obama breeze before Sunny got there. Should he come home?

22. So Much for Subtlety

I think Romney will win and will win handily. Not a land slide, but well enough.

The Right is pumped up and enthusiastic. The Democrats seem resigned. So more of the former will vote. Added to which Obama has been a pathetic excuse for a leader and simply does not deserve to win.

However I am habitually wrong about American elections so we will see. Especially as Intrade has Obama ahead.

23. So Much for Subtlety

11. Stephen

The only threat is the tightening of electoral qualification rules such as identification. This was supposed to stop fraud, but has probably been introduced by Republican states to minimise the ethnic and poor vote.

By definition voter identification laws cannot minimise the ethnic and poor vote. So there is no reason to think that is their aim. They simply reduce fraud. Rightly. Why should it be harder to rent a video from Blockbuster than to vote?

16. Bob B

I dedect little ethusiasm for Romney in the wider world, including the centre-right parties in Europe, which is worrying enough because America is certainly in need of friends abroad in these uncertain and perilous times.

Europeans, despite the best efforts of the Democrats, do not get to vote in American elections. Europeans ought to be grown up this time around no matter who wins. They deal with the people there. Their national interests demand it. But no doubt they will throw another hissy fit a la George W.

The Middle East is in one of its more volatile phases and that requires a flexible mindset with an inclination towards finding a peaceful settlement rather than some ideological impulsion towards more wars. The fact is that America is still recovering from the last Republican president.

Obama’s policy on the Middle East has been pathetic and has failed utterly. Groveling to Islamists has not worked. Nor is there any sign that Obama has a flexible intellect. Or much of an intellect at all. He looks like an ADHD case to me. He has no attention to details, cannot concentrate, has no opinions of his own, doesn’t care what is going on and frankly looks bored and wants out. Still, war in the Middle East is not a choice, it is a necessity. Romney does not look like a warmonger to me. And George W.’s period in office was a success as far as the Middle East went.

18. Cylux

Well Romney’s little whistle stop tour of Europe managed to see him piss off quite a few of the nations he visited, which might be where the resultant lack of appetite for him comes from.

Only in the fantasy world of the MSM. Romney said nothing untoward but the MSM is so far down the rabbit hole as far as brown nosing to Obama that they tried to spin a disaster out of nothing.

Indeed, though it’s also quite an indication as to the Republican’s confidence in their chosen runner.

On the contrary. Tightening rules on voter fraud is an obvious thing to do. That the Democrats and the usual suspects are fighting it is proof that the Dems know they cannot win without fraud and so are hoping to cheat their way into office. Obama is a Chicago Machine pol and will no doubt remember Kennedy.

The president will be either an ineffectual windbag or a certified cretin. The winners will be the same billionaires who’ve won every election since the 70′s. The losers will be everyone who isn’t filthy rich

@23 SMFS

“Why should it be harder to rent a video from Blockbuster than to vote?”

That’s pretty difficult. No one rents videos any more. Get with the times gramps.

“Romney does not look like a warmonger to me.”

http://www.rnib.org.uk

Try this by Martin Wolf in Wednesday’s FT:

Romney would be a backward step:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/14054388-1f77-11e2-b273-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2AvY49ttw

The Republicans have desperately been trying to create a media narrative that a number of knife edge states (Colorado, Virginia, Florida) are safely in the locker for Romney and the real battleground is Ohio, Wisconsin, even Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota. In fact Obama’s lead in all these states is larger than Romney’s in Virginia and Florida – but you would never know that from your average Karl Rove article.

In fact I think there are only three swing states left – Colorado, New Hampshire and Virginia. I’m calling only the last of these for Romney but I’m prepared to give him the second congressional district in Maine. So Obama 289 Electoral College votes, Romney 249.

‘George W.’s period in office was a success as far as the Middle East went’

…You are a total dick.

`@ 4

What race war would this be?’

The one being proposed by the Republican Right/Tea Party proto fascist Alliance in the form of the Romney/Ryan ticket. You do know their slogan is `America for the Americans’ don’t you? The same slogan as the 1930s Ku Klux Klan. The 47% can expect to be dumped on from a great height if Romney wins. The storm should work for Obama (nobody wants a `free market’ when they are drowning) on the other hand Obama’s natural base are very poor and it costs money to be a voter in the US and quite disillusioned after four year of change you can believe in but not apparently experience in any (good) way. Obama is bad but Romney and Ryan are proposing civil war against the poor.

30. Chaise Guevara

@ 29 Peter

I don’t think they’re proposing a “race war”, although such an administration would undoubtably be incredibly callous to the poor.

While “America for the Americans” is hardly the most charming of phrases, I wouldn’t pin too much on it also being used by the KKK. I bet it originates somewhere else, it’s kinda an obvious phrase anyway, and you’re basing your argument on an ad hom however you look at it.

The number of truly swing states seems to be diminishing as we get closer. Florida and North Carolina look like they’re heading Romneywards, while Pennsylvania, Nevada and Wisconsin look increasingly safe bets for Obama.

That leaves five: Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia and New Hampshire. If my assumptions above are correct then Romney can’t win without Ohio – which seems to be leaning towards Obama in all the polls at the moment. But if Romney can snatch Wisconsin, then he could just about win without Ohio.

Romney needs a lot of things to work in his favour over the next few days to win; Nate Silver’s 77% chance of an Obama win seems about right to me.

32. So Much for Subtlety

24. Schmidt

The president will be either an ineffectual windbag or a certified cretin.

Well we have the certified cretin so let’s hope the ineffectual windbag wins.

The winners will be the same billionaires who’ve won every election since the 70?s. The losers will be everyone who isn’t filthy rich

Really? Obama is a billionaire? News to me. I thought he was the relatively poorly paid son of an African immigrant, raised by a single mother, typical American success story. How about Clinton? Trailer park trash who made it to the White House. How about Ronald Reagan? A poor rural kid made good.

27. Badstephen

The Republicans have desperately been trying to create a media narrative that a number of knife edge states (Colorado, Virginia, Florida) are safely in the locker for Romney and the real battleground is Ohio, Wisconsin, even Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota. In fact Obama’s lead in all these states is larger than Romney’s in Virginia and Florida – but you would never know that from your average Karl Rove article.

When Obama is campaigning in Minnesota and Romney is running ads in Pennsylvania, you know that Obama is in trouble. Rove actually wrote an interesting article recently showing that Romney was likely to just win. Even though Rove has been down on MR in the past.

28. SMFS mum

…You are a total dick.

But I am not wrong. George W defeated Islamism as an idea. It was tried in Iraq and the Arabs seem to have rejected it. It is declining in popularity. He also called for democracy in the Middle East, and the people heard him. We are now seeing a wave of uprisings. Some of which are working out, some are not. We will have to see. But at least they are trying.

29. Peter Emms

The one being proposed by the Republican Right/Tea Party proto fascist Alliance in the form of the Romney/Ryan ticket.

Funny. Where have either Romney or Ryan called for a race war? You’re so desparate it is amusing. The only people making race an issue are the Dems, as usual. You see Obama’s pastor, the one who swore him in, said all White people were going to hell?

You do know their slogan is `America for the Americans’ don’t you? The same slogan as the 1930s Ku Klux Klan.

No I didn’t but it is also the slogan of the Pan-African Congress more or less. So what?

The 47% can expect to be dumped on from a great height if Romney wins.

Where’s the downside?

The storm should work for Obama (nobody wants a `free market’ when they are drowning)

Ironic given it is a sign of massive government failure.

Sigh. I bet there’s candy mountain and rainbow pooping Unicorns in the world SMFS lives in.
Anyway, for a brief reminder of what you’re dealing with – Every morally sensitive and decent person has to support Pinochet and Franco.

I’ve an absolutely dreadful feeling that this analysis by Bryan Caplan could be correct:

“The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies is a 2007 book written by Byan Caplan challenging the notion that voters are reasonable people that society can trust to make laws. Rather, Caplan contends that voters are irrational in the political sphere and have systematically biased ideas concerning economics.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Myth_of_the_Rational_Voter

@32 So Much Fucking Stupidity

Obama is the windbag who has achieved so little after promising so much. If hot air was money his mouth would have cleared the deficit. He is not stupid though, unlike Shittens whose ludicrous hair and ceramic teeth appear to have been bought mail order. Romney is simply the latest in a succession of dumb Republicans – Dan Quayle, W – must be all the inbreeding. He also has the tact of a clown at a funeral

Never said Obama was a billionaire, the winners as always are the billionaires who put up the money for the politicians who assfuck the suckers who vote for them. The truly rich don’t need to waste their time by being directly involved in politics. I can rarely be accused of being subtle but my point was obviously too subtle for you.

That’s the troll fed for the month.

@32 SMFS

You’ve lost your touch. I remember when you’re trolling was much less obvious. Maybe it’s time to take a break and re-think your methods otherwise you will continue to slide into becoming a parody of yourself.

“the politicians who assfuck the suckers who vote for them”

A technical point, but ordinarily suckers will be facing the wrong way.

34

‘Caplan contends that voters are irrational in the political sphere and have systematically biased ideas concerning economists’

No doubt Brian Caplan, Professor of Economics, has a much less biased view of economists!

38: “No doubt Bryan Caplan, Professor of Economics, has a much less biased view of economists!”

At least, he is far better informed about mainstream economics. And he is not the only professional economist lamenting the woeful ignorance of leading politicians about the appropriate economic policies for our present predicament.

The leading economic commentators of the FT have been regular critics of the present UK government’s economic policy. Try Martin Wolf on: Britain does not have to accept stagnation:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/311a1a6c-179c-11e2-8cbe-00144feabdc0.html

I’ve previously quoted Martin Wolf on Romney @26 and mentioned before the local Conservative stalwart who firmly believes that Dickens’s Micawber had the correct notion for sorting out the fiscal deficit regardless.

The Keynesian insight that the economy in the short run is driven by aggregate demand hadn’t reached her yet – despite Harold Macmillan’s brave attempt in 1938 to update his Conservative colleagues on the rudiments of Keynesian policies for tackling stagnant economies and unemployment in his book: The Third Way.

Try also Alan Blinder in: Hard heads, soft hearts (1987) on: Murphy’s law of economic policy:

“Economists have the least influence on policy where they know the most and are most agreed; they have the most influence on policy where they know the least and disagree most vehemently.”

Hence Monetarism in the early 1980s.

Blinder, an economics prof at Princeton, was Alan Greenspan’s deputy at the FED in the mid 1990s.

39

On his wiki entry he lists Ayn Rand as one of the people who influenced him, the great libertarian who ended up on social security. Just about says it all.

Who will win the US elections?

Me.

I am waiting for the blinder tip on which I will gamble Bob B’s Surrey mansion and Chaise’s virginity.

I will become embarrassingly rich as a consequence but, readers, my opinions will not change. I will continue to be a pain in the bum.

42. the a&e charge nurse

Mitt the mormon ……. dear god, no

40: “On his wiki entry he lists Ayn Rand as one of the people who influenced him, the great libertarian who ended up on social security. Just about says it all.”

You are not specific about to whom you are referring – Bryan Caplan, Martin Wolf, or Alan Blinder. Besides that, what matters is the argment made, not who made it. After all, I’ve read more Marx than most folk but that doesn’t mean I’m a Marxist. On the evidence, you are unable to break the habit of smearing and thinking that settles the debate. It doesn’t.

There’s plenty of evidence – some included in the links that I’ve posted – of leading politicians who really don’t understand mainstream economics and they have plenty of gullible followers. Cameron has an Oxford PPE degree but from the things he says, he obviously doesn’t understand mainstream macroeconomics – hence the criticism from Martin Wolf linked @39.

In today’s The Economist, there’s an editorial backing Obama against Romney – and The Economist has a bigger circulation in America than in Britain:
http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21565623-america-could-do-better-barack-obama-sadly-mitt-romney-does-not-fit-bill-which-one

@43. Bob B: “There’s plenty of evidence – some included in the links that I’ve posted – of leading politicians who really don’t understand mainstream economics and they have plenty of gullible followers. Cameron has an Oxford PPE degree but from the things he says, he obviously doesn’t understand mainstream macroeconomics – hence the criticism from Martin Wolf linked @39.”

That is a brutal conclusion. As a thicko engineer, I’d appreciate it if more people talked openly.

Charlieman

I recommend the OpEd by Martin Wolf linked @39 on why we don’t have to put up with stagnation.

Larry Summers, now a prof at Harvard and previously President Clinton’s last Treasury Secretary, endorsed Martin Wolf’s last book: Fixing Global Finance, saying that he is the world’s preeminent financial journalist.

There’s a string of other endorsements of the book by other leading academics so I take it that Martin Wolf’s peers reckon that he knows his stuff. By the link @26, Wolf evidently thinks that making Romney president is the wrong way to go.

47. So Much for Subtlety

33. Cylux

Sigh. I bet there’s candy mountain and rainbow pooping Unicorns in the world SMFS lives in.

Indeed.

Anyway, for a brief reminder of what you’re dealing with – Every morally sensitive and decent person has to support Pinochet and Franco.

A point that remains unrefuted.

35. Schmidt

He is not stupid though, unlike Shittens whose ludicrous hair and ceramic teeth appear to have been bought mail order. Romney is simply the latest in a succession of dumb Republicans – Dan Quayle, W – must be all the inbreeding. He also has the tact of a clown at a funeral

So … you’re problem is that you’re lookist? You are discriminating against someone on the basis of their looks? How many degrees do you hold? Where did you go to university? I don’t know if Romney is smart or not, but that is surely not the issue. He is competent and he is a decent man. That counts for more in my book. Tact? Yes, why don’t you lecture us all on tact.

Never said Obama was a billionaire, the winners as always are the billionaires who put up the money for the politicians who assfuck the suckers who vote for them.

So you are using “won” in some other sort of sense than, you know, the English one? Who fronted for Obama?

42. the a&e charge nurse

Mitt the mormon ……. dear god, no

How, may I ask, is this different from saying “Disraeli the Jew …. dear God no”?

45: Planeshift

Off topic: Why not repost to the thread on: Guido Fawkes howler on Tom Watson allegations

I’m certainly prepared to believe that there’s a lot more about the sexual abuse of the young which ought to come out. My suspicion is that the late JS is being used as a lightning conductor to draw attention away from others.

@45 Ian Bone’s had a few posts regarding whom the leading Thatcher-era Tory politician is. (With his current one lambasting Newsnight for bottling it last minute)

@47 Actually your ‘point’ was taken to pieces, but you dismissed it because Galen10 mentioned a historian with a name similar to a former Guardian journalist.

43

We were discussing Caplan and I don’t have a propensity to randomly jump from one area of debate to another, unlike some posters on LC. You may have read a lot of Marx but you do not assert that he has had any influence upon you, unlike Caplan who lists Ayn Rand at the top of his list.

If by ‘smear’ you mean that I challenge writers/researchers who are clearly self-serving (Caplan) whose purpose is not an impartial analysis but a justification of their trade, then yes I will continue to smear such people. I will also ‘smear’ those who spend their lives extolling the virtues of libertarianism and then when their chosen lifestyle has a sting in the tail, to then embrace the conditions of which they were the foremost critics.

I don’t doubt your argument about politicians, they will do whatever the elite want them to, regardless of expertise or evidence, USA or the UK, it’s all the same.

52. the a&e charge nurse

Mitt on abortion
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57501172/romney-my-views-on-abortion-rights-are-clear-/

And on equal rights – “Like the vast majority of Americans, I’ve opposed same-sex marriage”

Thank’ya jeezus.

53. Chaise Guevara

@ 41 Charlieman

“I am waiting for the blinder tip on which I will gamble Bob B’s Surrey mansion and Chaise’s virginity.”

Oi!

51

“If by ‘smear’ you mean that I challenge writers/researchers who are clearly self-serving (Caplan) whose purpose is not an impartial analysis but a justification of their trade, then yes I will continue to smear such people.”

Of course, Marx wasn’t self-serving, just trying to scratch a living for his family with subventions from Engels – who ran a successful family textile business in Manchester – plus occasional journalism in the left-wing press by differentiating his product.

As for the rationality of voters or consumers, is this Google lecture also self-serving so we can safely ignor it?

Prof Prof Barry Schwartz on: The Paradox of Choice – why less is more:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6127548813950043200

How about Alan Blinder and Murphy’s law of economics?

Btw most British politicians seem to be rather cross with the bankers who have been ripping off their employing capitalist shareholders, as well as their depositors. I don’t know how that fits Marxist theory.

@ 49 – there is also this http://wrecsamplaid.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/bryn-estyn-lets-see-pulped-report.html?spref=tw

It seems i’ve been living under a rock. All this is new to me.

55: “It seems i’ve been living under a rock. All this is new to me.”

Emerging insights about the several local authority care homes which provided shelters for the regular sexual abuse of the young residents are: (a) it usually went on for years before becoming public knowledge, not least because any complaints to authorities by the abused were ignored; (b) the local authority committees, which supposedly determined the management policy of these care homes and appointed the senior staff, disclaimed all responsibility for what had been going on. No councillors resigned. So much for the fashion of Localism.

The first instance in the late 1980s, which came to my attention, was abuse in a children’s care home run by the London borough of Islington when Margaret Hodge was leader of the council there. She is now chairman of the HoC Public Accounts Committee. The abuse came to light as the result of an under-cover investigation by the London Evening Standard, not by the council or by the Police. By news reports, time after time, the Police have backed off pursuing investigations and prosecutions of abuse. But then recall that Assistant Commissioner John Yates terminated the investigation of the phone hacking scandal because “there is no new evidence”. That was probably true. It was just that no one was following up on the many dozens of phone numbers in Glenn Mulcaire’s notebooks which had been seized by the Police. Pressure by the many victims of hacking caused the Police investigations to be restarted.

Yet another reason why British media are mostly backing Obama in the American Presidential elections:

Eighty-five percent of American voters in Israel cast their ballots for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to an exit poll released on Thursday by the get-out-the-vote organization iVoteIsrael.
http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/anglo-file/poll-85-of-americans-in-israel-voted-for-romney.premium-1.473859

58. Chaise Guevara

@ 57 Bob B

“Yet another reason why British media are mostly backing Obama in the American Presidential elections:

Eighty-five percent of American voters in Israel cast their ballots for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to an exit poll released on Thursday by the get-out-the-vote organization iVoteIsrael.”

…Seriously? You reckon the British media back Obama because he’s less popular in Israel? You think most people in the media have even read that exit poll? Has the Obama-sympathisin’ risen notably since Thursday? Did you know that obsession can easily feed into delusion?

Chaise: “…Seriously? You reckon the British media back Obama because he’s less popular in Israel?”

I did say: Yet another reason why . . .

Romney on his foreign policy for the Middle East is frightening. Netanyahu and Barak, Israel’s PM and Defence Minister, are raring to make a pre-emptive strike on Iran. Obama – as well as William Hague – have so far been saying they wouldn’t support that.

Romney believes the Palestine peace process has stalled because the Palestinians don’t want peace – not because the Israeli government continues to allow the building of illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territory.

I really don’t detect much popular support in Britain for Israel. Of course, the noisy pro-Israel lobby here claims that is because of rampant anti-semitism but then they regard any criticism of Israel as flagrant anti-semitism.

I suspect Romney is trying to split the jewish vote in the Presidential election as I believe that jews in America mostly vote Democrat.

Quote from Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian:

The world outside America is backing Obama, the polls show it, but without the fervour of four years ago. Some on the left see little difference between him and Romney, on, say, drones, civil liberties or the Middle East; the odd nuance, perhaps, but otherwise they are Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

Big mistake. Some of us heard the same refrain in 2000: no difference between Gore and Bush, who cares who wins? And we all know how that worked out.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/02/us-election-whoever-wins-profound-impact

Much worth reading in the analysis there IMO.

61. Chaise Guevara

@ Bob B

You have my apologies. I completely misread your post, thought you were saying that we back Obama because we’re antisemitic. Sorry for that.

Incidentally, you’re probably right about Romney trying to split the Jewish vote, but there are also a hell of a lot of Christian Americans who believe that the Rapture starts with Israel pushing the heathen nations into the sea. That said, I’m guessing few of those dudes vote Democrat under any circumstances. And by “dudes” I mean “lunatics”.

62. So Much for Subtlety

50. Cylux

Actually your ‘point’ was taken to pieces, but you dismissed it because Galen10 mentioned a historian with a name similar to a former Guardian journalist.

That is an interesting recollection you have there. Although I will concede my error over the names.

52. the a&e charge nurse

Mitt on abortion

Romney is a flip flopper on abortion. He has been for, he has been against. Which means he will do nothing to change the status quo. Not that he can anyway.

Thank’ya jeezus.

So you were smearing him for being a Mormon, now you’re smearing him for being a Southern Baptist? Well make your mind up. Either he is a Christian or he is a Mormon. Which is it?

63. So Much for Subtlety

56. Bob B

Emerging insights about the several local authority care homes which provided shelters for the regular sexual abuse of the young residents are: (a) it usually went on for years before becoming public knowledge, not least because any complaints to authorities by the abused were ignored; (b) the local authority committees, which supposedly determined the management policy of these care homes and appointed the senior staff, disclaimed all responsibility for what had been going on. No councillors resigned. So much for the fashion of Localism.

And Bob is only mention it now. As I have often said, the safest place for children in the West is the Catholic Church. The number of children abused by the secular State authorities in the West grossly dwarfs anything done in the Catholic system. But of course people like Bob, who has a fixation on the Church, will usually ignore the evidence of non-Catholic abuse. So it is interesting to see he admits it for a change.

57. Bob B

Yet another reason why British media are mostly backing Obama in the American Presidential elections:

Ahh, there’s another obsession of Bob’s – Jews. So is this an allegation that the British media hate Jews or what? What is the link between Americans voting in Israel and the views of the British media?

65. the a&e charge nurse

[62] ‘Either he is a Christian or he is a Mormon. Which is it?’ – he’s a man doing god’s bidding, thats the problem – especially if it comes to trying to avert a holy war with Iran.
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/09/mitt-romneys-iran-hallucinations/262576/

63: SMFS: “As I have often said, the safest place for children in the West is the Catholic Church”

Compare:

Channel 4 News has compiled the first map of Catholic abuse detailing some 37 cases across England and Wales where Catholic priests have committed sexual offences against children.
http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/world/catholic%2babuse%2bin%2bengland%2band%2bwales%2brevealed/3767082.html#link1

That Channel 4 news report about 37 convictions of Catholic priests for the sexual abuse of children was from back in 2010 and relates, of course, only to cases which came to light and where there were prosecutions leading to convictions with sentences of a year or longer.

63: SMFS: “Ahh, there’s another obsession of Bob’s – Jews.”

On jews and Palestine, I suggest checking out and comparing: ‘Independent Jewish Voices’ and ‘Jews For Justice For Palestinians’ – I must acknowledge that my views are rather similar to theirs.

64 Cylux

About the allegations concerning “a senior political” person in the Conservative Party, see this interview of Michael Crick on Channel 4:
http://www.channel4.com/news/former-senior-political-figure-accused-of-sex-assault?google_editors_picks=true

In a BBC discussion about JS, Joan Bakewell said: “We were all padded, pinched, stroked, the whole female sex was available in those days – not willingly so – in the 1960s. It was how you treated women.” [BBC website 16 October]

63

After Jimmy Saville (described as a devout Catholic) we now know that widespread abuse can be carried-out for many years without it becoming public. I wouldn’t place any great importance on the number of reported offences against children by Catholic priests, it’s likely to be the tip of an iceberg.

54

‘The limited rationality of democracy: Schumpeter as the founder of irrational choice theory’ Prisching (1995) might also be of interest.

Marx’s family were wealthy middle-class and, as you note, Engels was a wealthy industrialist, he was Marx’s patron. Other than the odd article, Engels was Marx’s primary source of survival. Considering Engels belonged to the class that Marx criticized and looked towards their demise, the last thing you can accuse Marx of is ‘self-serving’.

Twice, Andrew Marr has just referred to the President of the United States as “The Boy”. As in Bill Clinton’s words to Ted Kennedy, “That boy should be getting us coffee.” Bill Clinton, who originated the claim that “that boy” was ineligible to be President.

Readers in the United States might be interested to know that, as at every Presidential Election since it became an issue, Republican Party officials appear regularly on the British broadcast media to denounce as “scaremongering” the slightest suggestion that a Republican President would seek to limit abortion in any way whatever. Roe v Wade is “precedent”, and that is just that. Such is the official, stated view of the GOP, as such.

Does that sit uneasily with Romney’s Mormon bishopric? Not really. Mormons seem to be a liberalising force even within the Republican Party, and at least a large proportion of them are clearly Democrats, anyway. Harry Reid is in fact quite conservative compared with Romney, who enacted in Massachusetts the taxpayer-funded abortion that Obama did not enact nationwide, and who through Bain Capital was and remains a personal profiteer from abortion.

Romney’s Mormonism would be a major issue for Evangelicals if they thought for one moment that he might win. That it isn’t proves conclusively that they don’t, not even for one moment. There will soon be more Mormons than (mostly very secular) Jews in the United States. Half the population of Las Vegas, sending all those tithes back across state lines to Salt Lake City, meets the people who control Hollywood and the pornography industry.

Many, perhaps most, of Romney’s foreign policy advisers are dual American-Israeli citizens. If Nile Gardiner is still a British passport-holder, then one really does have to wonder both why he still wants one and why we still let him have one, as well as pointing out that, as a former Thatcher staffer, he would be arrested if he ever returned to this country, as at least an accessory to one or both of mass murder at Hillsborough and mass sexual abuse of children all over the place; policy on East Asia and elsewhere would seem to be rather informed by Gardiner’s Unificationism, just as Mormonism, no less than big business, lies behind the desire to give “Lamanites” unhindered entry to the United States.

And then there is Walid Phares, erstwhile militia commander in the Lebanese Forces, and adherent to its irredentist faction which refused to follow General Aoun into the present coalition, instead participating, like the Phalange, in the Salafi-led alliance on behalf of which Israel, with her cheerful Salafi parliamentarians and cities and with her Sharia law for anyone born into certain ethnic minorities, is co-operating with Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in attempting to stage a putsch in Lebanon. Doubtless to be joined by Romney’s America in that mercifully improbable event.

From 1980s Afghanistan to Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Xinjiang, Turkey, Iraq, Libya, Tunisia, putatively Syria, in the form of Jundullah in relation to Iran, and now also Lebanon, with a beady eye needing to be kept on Egypt: there is no closer, nor any more ruthless or more vicious, military partnership on earth than that between the neoconservatives and the Wahhabi and Salafi. Under Romney, the neocons would be back with a vengeance, subsuming those traitors to Christian Lebanon who in any case always modelled themselves on the European Fascism of the 1930s and adhered, as they still do, to the bizarre racial theory of Phoenicianism which, among much else, accounted for their violent hostility towards the ancient indigenous Christians further south. One such racist terrorist godfather, now in league with the Salafi while pretending on Fox to be their blood enemy, is Walid Phares. He is the Co-Chairman of the Middle East Advisory Group to Mitt Romney.

As it has just been put to me: “Phares’s World Lebanese Organisation was still providing a platform for Etienne Saqr long after the activities of his Guardians of the Cedars had forced his exile to Israel. Even the U.S. Congress has to admit that the Guardians of the Cedars are a terrorist organisation and even Rep. Peter King had to drop Phares from his hearings on Muslim radicalisation. Yet Phares is on course for a senior position in the foreign policy team of a President Romney. Chilling, absolutely chilling.”

Thank God that it is not going to happen.

69

“Considering Engels belonged to the class that Marx criticized and looked towards their demise, the last thing you can accuse Marx of is ‘self-serving’.”

What else could Marx have done to earn a living for his family other than rely on patronage by Engels and occasional journalism for the radical press? He had nowhere else to go and economics was moving on towards the marginalist revolution. I’ve mentioned before an avant garde text by Cournot: Mathematical Principles of the Theory of Wealth (1838), which is almost routinely cited by modern texts on industrial economics – there is a PDF text online. By comparison, Marx and Schumpeter, with the insight he gleaned from a passage in the Communist Manifesto about “the gale of creative destruction”, look rather trite.

I note that you have wisely dropped posting about Caplan’s thesis – and that of a heap of others – that people demonstrably make irrational choices.

I find that illuminating. Broadly put, there are two conflicting mainstream classes of models for the macroeconomy. One set, stemming from the Chicago school, is predicated on the assumption of “rational agents”. Michael Wickens, now at York University, is the author of a recent textbook with this approach: Macroeconomics – A Dynamic General Equilibriun Approach (Princeton UP). Note that Wickens’ CV says that he is a specialist advisor to the HoL economics committee and to the IMF.

An alternative stream, so-called Behavioral Economics, eschews the assumption of universal rationality and works with behavioural macro relationships to analyse economic trends. Try De Grauwe: Lectures on Behavioral Economics (Princeton UP):
http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/ew/academic/intecon/Degrauwe/PDG-papers/Contributions%20to%20books/Behavioral%20Macro%20Book-Fin.pdf

Readers without economics priors will perhaps find this tough going but the split is gaining a distinctive political flavouring. The Dynamic General Equilibrium folk tend to be conservative and Republican, while the Behavioral folk tend to favour keynesian flavoured remedies to end economic stagnation. De Grauwe is now at the LSE. The North and South divide.

A cause for reflection on Jonathan Freedland’s assessment of the likely profound implications flowing from the result of this coming election:

“Many will say the [Democrat]party made a grave mistake and that it should have gone for Hillary in 2008, a view that will be nourished by this week’s YouGov poll finding that Clinton would have beaten Romney by a comfortable six points”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/02/us-election-whoever-wins-profound-impact

73. So Much for Subtlety

65. the a&e charge nurse

he’s a man doing god’s bidding, thats the problem – especially if it comes to trying to avert a holy war with Iran.

Like Blair you mean? Sorry but when did Romney ever say he was doing God’s bidding?

66. Bob B

Channel 4 News has compiled the first map of Catholic abuse detailing some 37 cases across England and Wales where Catholic priests have committed sexual offences against children.

In other words, about a weekends-worth in Britain’s state institutions.

That Channel 4 news report about 37 convictions of Catholic priests for the sexual abuse of children was from back in 2010 and relates, of course, only to cases which came to light and where there were prosecutions leading to convictions with sentences of a year or longer.

The chances of there being any more cases after more than a decade of media questioning is minimal. And again notice the double standard. 27 convictions. Whereas the people in charge of State-institutions now sit in the Parliament and are considered suitable to be in government. There is a hysteria over the Catholic Church which is divorced from the actual abuse. It is just pandering to bigots like Bob.

On jews and Palestine, I suggest checking out and comparing: ‘Independent Jewish Voices’ and ‘Jews For Justice For Palestinians’ – I must acknowledge that my views are rather similar to theirs.

You do not normally share views with a small group of Trots. I am afraid I have to conclude that you are using these Marxists as a stalking horse for your usual bigotry.

68. steveb

After Jimmy Saville (described as a devout Catholic) we now know that widespread abuse can be carried-out for many years without it becoming public.

Savile was investigated three times by the police. It was not only public, it was well known. People made jokes about it. And who described Savile as a devout Catholic? Where and when?

I wouldn’t place any great importance on the number of reported offences against children by Catholic priests, it’s likely to be the tip of an iceberg.

Apart from your obvious problems with Catholics, why would you think so? They have gone back to the 1950s in their inquiries. They have offered large amounts of cash to anyone who comes forward. They have spent decades looking. Why would you think there was one victim left uncovered?

32. So Much For Subtlety

“When Obama is campaigning in Minnesota and Romney is running ads in Pennsylvania, you know that Obama is in trouble. Rove actually wrote an interesting article recently showing that Romney was likely to just win. Even though Rove has been down on MR in the past.”

No. When Obama is campaigning in Arizona and Romney is running ads in Montana, that’s when you know Obama is in trouble. The fact is, Obama wins on the current swing state profile. Both sides know it, hence the desparate last-ditch Romney attempt to put Pennsylvania and Minnesota in play. Anything to create a possible path to 270 – or at least a media illusion of one.

The point I was making about Rove is that I have not seen any articles where he honestly admits Romney has a tougher job in Florida, Colorado and Virginia than Obama has in Ohio, Nevada and Wisconsin. If you have seen such an article, I’d be interested in seeing the link.

73 SMFS: “The chances of there being any more cases after more than a decade of media questioning is minimal. And again notice the double standard. 27 convictions. Whereas the people in charge of State-institutions now sit in the Parliament and are considered suitable to be in government. There is a hysteria over the Catholic Church which is divorced from the actual abuse. It is just pandering to bigots like Bob”

Correction: 37 convictions of Catholic priests reported by 2010 in that Channel 4 programme, not 27 – and that relates only to Britain up to September 2010, with no reference to cases since or convictions in America, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands etc.

The Economist in August reported that USD 3 Billion had been paid by the Catholic church there to victims of abuse by priests. Understandably, the finances of the American Catholic church are now stressed. I’m much amused that mentioning these facts makes me “a bigot” since it’s not difficult to dig out news reports on the web of the extensive abuse by the Catholic priesthood in Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands and other countries.

The international reach and the industrial scale of the abuse are staggering. As best I can tell, JS, unlike the priesthood, didn’t go around purporting to have Holy intentions.

As for Britain’s MPs, I have few illusions. By this poll the public doesn’t regard them as particularly trustworthy:

“Estate agents and politicians among least trusted professions”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/5085369/Estate-agents-and-politicians-among-least-trusted-professions.html

In the last Parliament, “more than half of MPs guilty of over-claiming expenses”

71

Marx, like everyone else in the 19th century, had to earn a living, so your comment is rather naive, especially coming from an economist. And to add to my earlier comment, Marx was hardly a member of the proletariat, but his analysis is that they would rule, hardly a self-serving notion, unlike Caplan who utilizes his text to justify his own trade.

The reason I recommended the Prisching text is because it addresses the essence of this debate, also, note that the theory of irrational choice precedes Caplan, I guess he will have referenced his text accordingly.

It’s also ironical that Caplan notes that people tend to believe that economists tend towards the right, well there’s nothing about your post that contradicts those views.

73

Jimmy Saville received a papal knighthood which gives us a strong clue that he was a Catholic. Now if you are talking semantics (about the description of devout Catholic) I would agree, the theory doesn’t exactly match the practice, but that was the same for the priests who also abused children.
1950 is a long time ago, even if any children abused by priests were still alive, they would hardly come forward, just as it is very likely that not all of the children abused by Saville will come forward, I would say that although around 300 have, that is also the tip of the iceberg.

Like Priests, Jimmy Saville was thought of trustworthy, one story from an abused girl told of her reporting Saville’s abuse to her parents and they punished her for telling ‘wicked lies’, no doubt this was also the case when children reported their abuse by priests.

The real question is “Who Cares?”

79. Chaise Guevara

@ 78

You apparently cared enough to comment on the thread…

80. the a&e charge nurse

[73] ‘Sorry but when did Romney ever say he was doing God’s bidding?’ – right here (0:03 onward)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm4tIYc4fZ0

“I believe the bible is the word of god” ……….. gulp!
Dawkins riposte at 4:46 – same link

77: “Jimmy Saville received a papal knighthood which gives us a strong clue that he was a Catholic.”

Today we very properly celebrate our salvation from a terrorist atrocity when Catholic conspirators were intending to blow up Parliament at the state opening in 1605.

“Guy Fawkes could have changed the face of London if his 1605 plot had not been foiled, explosion experts have said.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3240135.stm

It is an instructive comment on our appreciation of our national history when we celebrate this salvation every year and not the outcome of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 on 21 October, which made Britain the superpower of the 19th century. Few know or care nowadays about the Battle of Trafalgar.

@81, most Catholics had no idea, and would have disapproved in the strongest possible terms. They, of course, paid the price, just as they did for the Spanish Armada even though the Navy that defeated it was commanded by a Catholic, Lord Howard of Effingham, as loyal to his Queen Elizabeth as I am to mine. Philip of Spain had expected to be supported by a Catholic uprising in England, but there never was one, as anyone who knew anything about the English Catholics could have told him that there was never going to be.

Today of all days, let us consider that 80 per cent of the laws to which we are subject are made by a supranational body which meets in secret and publishes no Official Report. A foreign power maintains a huge military presence here, accountable to nobody. We have no intelligence capability apart from that power’s largesse, and we are about to spend an eye-wateringly obscene amount of money on yet more nuclear weapons wholly dependent on it.

Several of our MPs are openly, and probably the majority is more-or-less covertly, signed up to the cause of European military integration under overall American command. Those MPs openly so signed up, at least, are under the day-to-day direction, as to the conduct of their parliamentary duties, of a cabal of cranks and crooks an ocean away. The old Members for Moscow had to await telegrams, and even the old Members for Pretoria had to use the landline telephone. But such is progress, for those in both of exactly those same treasonable traditions, now doing their dirty work on behalf of people who are no longer in government in their own country.

Behind them, however, is the eye-poppingly racist party of the Israeli Foreign Minister, which is very much in government. For having been caught running a parallel foreign policy in that interest, Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for Defence was recently required to resign. But there have been no prosecutions. There have been no deportations. One fake charity has been closed down, but several more are still operating, with considerable, and always hugely deferential, media exposure. Scores, probably hundreds, of MPs from the Prime Minister’s own party remain in point of fact members of that other, foreign party, using the time-honoured Tory label for little or nothing more than electioneering purposes.

The national newspaper executive who deprived me of a platform for pointing out the existence of this treasonable network, and who then collaborated with its notionally Labour or Labour-inclined figures in a demented and deranged campaign of abuse and defamation against me, has not so much as been removed from his position, never mind punished in any way more severe than that. (He has, it is true, been removed from another position for making a predatory sexual interest in boys the condition of the employment of a now-deceased columnist. That newspaper itself no longer attempts to deny this. His home address is in Who’s Who if anyone feels like taking it up with him.) That same network, of which he is manifestly part, is also funding and directing the English Defence League, so that its utterances and its actions should be attributed to them and to him.

Meanwhile, a fully armed terrorist organisation is in government in Northern Ireland while still proclaiming its own Army Council to be the sovereign body throughout Ireland. A party whose activist base is ferociously opposed to the Union is the only party of government in Scotland. We have the (often desperately ignorant) African-American takeover of our black politics, which is of overwhelmingly Afro-Caribbean or African origin, and barely, if at all, related to African-American culture. If the things being colonised from Harlem and Chicago were being run from the Caribbean or from Africa, as they sometimes have been and are, then that would be bad enough. This, however, is not merely outrageous, although it is certainly that. It is also downright bizarre.

All political parties in certain Midland, Yorkshire and North-Western towns and cities run as, by no means always predictable, proxies for rival factions in Pakistan. So much so, that the rally designed to name Asif Ali Zardari’s son as sole Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party was held in Birmingham, with a large rival demonstration outside; Glasgow is heading the same way, as both Labour’s selection of a candidate for its safe seat of Glasgow Central, and the scramble for the Conservatives’ list seat at Holyrood, made abundantly clear. The Pakistan People’s Party: “Islam is our Faith, Socialism [by which they do not mean Keynes, Beveridge and a bit of pragmatic public ownership] is our Economy, and the man who ran our London office right up until Benazir Bhutto died is now a rising star among Conservative MPs.”

We now have an entire London Borough in which political life is being directed from Bangladesh, even if one does have to laugh at the implicit suggestion that the East End was somehow a model of probity before the Bengalis shipped up. We now have thriving scenes loyal to each of Hindutva and Khalistan, both of which were significant at the Ealing Southall by-election.

And so on, and on, and on.

Bring on the bonfires.

82

The Catholic conspiracy to blow up Parliament at the state opening in 1605, came 17 years after the failed invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in 1588 with its commission from the Holy See to restore Catholicism to the realm.

The Armada sailed up the Channel 30 years after the the end of the fortunately brief reign of Mary Tudor (1553-58), who was popularly known in her life time as Bloody Mary. Highly respected, mainstream history texts – such as John Guy: Tudor England (OUP) – report that at least 287 Protestant heretics were burned to death in accord with her policy for restoring Catholicism to England.

Three of the most notable victims of that purge of Protestant heretics – the Oxford Martyrs: Latimer, Ridley and Cranmer, author of the book of Common Prayer – are commemorated by a plaque on the wall of Balliol College, Oxford. Huguenot refugees from France fled to England following the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre there in August 1572. Estimates of the number of Huguenots slaughtered vary from a minimum of 7,000 up to several tens of thousands. Defoe, in his celebrated satire: The True-Born Englishman (1701), says that 300,000 refugees came to settle in England during Queen Elizabeth’s reign.

In that context, is it surprising that anti-Catholic sentiment in England prevailed and fortunately so for Newton could not have worked on his theories of a heliocentric universe had Catholicism been restored? It took the Catholic church until 1992 to exonerate Galileo for publicising his heliocentric theory.

In the news today, I found this:

“A new zeitgeist is capturing business people, academics and political players from both the Left and Right, looking for an ethical alternative for our time. Their inspiration? Catholic teaching.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20154986

I could hardly contain my mirth at that piece of blatant Blairite propaganda by Matthew Taylor, very likely intended to promote TB’s prospects of being voted in as the President of the EU by acclaim. But I fully appreciate the appeal of Catholicism to the authoritarian Left.

84. So Much for Subtlety

74. Badstephen

The fact is, Obama wins on the current swing state profile. Both sides know it, hence the desparate last-ditch Romney attempt to put Pennsylvania and Minnesota in play. Anything to create a possible path to 270 – or at least a media illusion of one.

There is no point for Romney to create such an illusion. The MSM will do anything to help Obama anyway. Nor does diluting your effort in states you need to win help. It does not make sense unless Romney’s polling tells him he has a chance on those states.

75. Bob B

Correction: 37 convictions of Catholic priests reported by 2010 in that Channel 4 programme, not 27 – and that relates only to Britain up to September 2010, with no reference to cases since or convictions in America, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands etc.

So after years of searching and a thorough witch hunt, even Bob has to admit that a tiny percentage of British priests abused children. Way hay. Progress I suppose.

The Economist in August reported that USD 3 Billion had been paid by the Catholic church there to victims of abuse by priests.

Because, as you have been told repeatedly, the Church does not and cannot fight such claims in court. So any lunatic with a plausible story can expect a pay out.

I’m much amused that mentioning these facts makes me “a bigot”

When you ignore all the others, yes, it makes you a bigot. When you ignore the vastly larger problem in the secular world and focus, laser-like, on Catholics, you’re a bigot.

76. steveb

Marx, like everyone else in the 19th century, had to earn a living

Ne he didn’t. He sponged off his relatives – his brother in law was Bismark’s Minister of Police – and Engels. He spent his life not earning a living.

It’s also ironical that Caplan notes that people tend to believe that economists tend towards the right

As Robert Conquest once said, everyone is conservative about what they know best.

77. steveb

Jimmy Saville received a papal knighthood which gives us a strong clue that he was a Catholic.

I am sure he was born to a Catholic family. The fact he got a knighthood from the Pope does not prove he was devout any more than the fact the Beatles got an OBE each proved they were monarchists.

Like Priests, Jimmy Saville was thought of trustworthy, one story from an abused girl told of her reporting Saville’s abuse to her parents and they punished her for telling ‘wicked lies’, no doubt this was also the case when children reported their abuse by priests.

Which actually suggests she is a fantatist. Getting back at her parents for whatever crime they committed against her. I would guess that when the police have finished, there will be no case against Savile, even if he wasn’t dead. Few if any of these allegations look credible. Low life creep that he was.

SMFS: “on Catholics, you’re a bigot.”

Recap @83 on England’s history to understand why Protestantism prevailed in Britain – which was fortunate for the future of science. Every year, we still celebrate our salvation from that Catholic conspiracy to blow up Parliament at the state opening on 5 November 1605. Few nowadays can recall the date of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 even though the historic consequences were momentous.

SMFS: “So after years of searching and a thorough witch hunt, even Bob has to admit that a tiny percentage of British priests abused children.”

Credit is to Channel 4 for researching the numbers of Catholic priests convicted of abusing children and sentenced to a year or more in prison – hardly a “witch hunt”. I’m merely quoting.

Fortunately, criminals are usually a minority. The more interesting question is why so many Catholic priests were convicted – especially as compared with the numbers of Protestant clergy convicted of similar offences? Channel 4 also went on to report:

A Channel 4 News investigation reveals that more than half of the Catholic priests convicted for child abuse and sentenced to more than a year in prison, in England and Wales since 2001, remain in the priesthood – with some still receiving financial support from the Church and living in church houses.
http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/uk/catholic+church+abuse+paedophile+priests+remain+in+catholic+church/3767477.html

But I’m not parochial about this. The abuse of Catholic priests was on an industrial scale on an international reach. Try the commissions of inquiry into the abuses of Catholic priests in Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Obama re-elected! Thank goodness.

It was Sunny what won it!

I’ll get me coat.

Hurrah Mitt didnt win. Its time for SMFS to have a cry wank and a pot noddle. Better luck next time chump.

84. So Much For Subtlety

“There is no point for Romney to create such an illusion. The MSM will do anything to help Obama anyway. Nor does diluting your effort in states you need to win help. It does not make sense unless Romney’s polling tells him he has a chance on those states.”

Hindsight and smugness are wonderful things, so here goes. Looking at the outcomes in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, I cannot believe Romney’s pollsters, who are smart guys, were telling him he had a shot. Romney’s campaign push in those states was, as I said, a desparate last-minute bluff.

As for the liberal Obama-loving MSM, presumably this now includes Fox News? The hilarious high spot of the evening was Rove’s refusal to accept reality, even when it came from the Fox results desk.

So finally we can get the 2012 Election coverage off the news. I have never seen such interest in an election in another country. Amazing. Anyway, as predicted Obama won. Looking to the future there are several things he is going to have to jump on.

(1) America’s debt – there has to be a long term plan, simply continuing to borrow is not going to cut it (no pun intended)

(2) Fiscal Cliff – an issue the American electorate seem to be sticking their heads in the sand over. There are going to be howls of anguish as the reality of higher taxes and government cuts bite.

In other news I am delighted to be able to point at Francois Hollande and all those who supported him and say “I told you so”. As the looney frog hops ever faster away from the airhead socialist policies that got him elected he appears to have grown up and realised that his little book of Marx won’t actually work. In fact his two key messages on austerity and tax have now been turned on their head. I don’t know when people will realise that you cannot simply take from your citizens as you wish.

90. uiyfytshdclj

@ 87 SMFS mum.

What’s a “cry wank”? Is it some kind of BDSM thing?

91. Chaise Guevara

@ 90

For that matter, I am unclear on what a “pot noddle” is.

It was the women who won it for Obama:

“A survey by the pollsters YouGov of 36,000 Americans in final week of campaign gave the incumbent president a 12 point lead among women, by 56% to Mitt Romney’s 44%.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-politics/9661310/Barack-Obama-It-was-women-wot-won-the-election.html#

93. Shatterface

For that matter, I am unclear on what a “pot noddle” is.

If you smoke enough pot you’ll eat anything – even noddles.

And ‘Cry wank and release the dogs of war’ is from Henry V

56 per cent of women against Romney? Why, that’s very nearly a binderful!

95. Chaise Guevara

@ 93 Shatterface

“And ‘Cry wank and release the dogs of war’ is from Henry V”

Ahaha! Of course!

Another key insight about the election from web reports is that the Democrat campaign was far better organised. So much for Romney’s better business skills. But then the Republicans say they regard government as the problem. We can now see what that really means.

97. Chaise Guevara

…Actually, it’s a slight misquote.

The line as written by Shakespeare is, of course, “Cry wank and let slip the dogs of war.”

…and it’s Julius Caesar

“Another key insight about the election from web reports is that the Democrat campaign was far better organised”.

Up until about 7pm they were saying something different. “Better organised” tends to equate to “won the most votes”.

Overall, the Obama campaign appeared to lack enthusiasm and positivity. There are excuses for that in the circumstances, but let’s hope that Obama now regains some oomph.

100. Shatterface

…Actually, it’s a slight misquote.

The line as written by Shakespeare is, of course, “Cry wank and let slip the dogs of war.”

In mitigation, I was smoking pot and eating noddles as I wrote that.

101. Chaise Guevara

@ Shatterface

Heh. SMFS’s mum has improved this thread no end. Seems the apple falls far from the tree.

It’s about demographic changes. The results show a deeply divided nation. Obama has not brought the nation together. 59 per cent of whites voted for Romney. Not too long this would have been enough to seal the deal but things of changed – 93 per cent of blacks, 71 per cent of Hispanics and 73 per cent of Asians voted for Obama. One could argue these demographic patterns are going someway to putting the Republicans out of business – at the Presidential level at least. For instance, how can they appeal to the core vote whilst sidestepping illegal immigration issues which turn off Hispanic voters?

Virginia has gone Democrat again. They should be thrown out of the Confederacy! Can Republicans win New Mexico ever again? Some are even predicting demographic changes in Texas mean it will turn blue in 2020 (unless the Republicans tear up the rule book). The Southern Strategy is falling apart and the population in the bits of ‘Democrat Florida’ is growing faster in the bits that are ‘Republican Florida’ (which is much older and whiter).

All very interesting but its worth saying there is absolutely no reason why the Republicans could not become the prefered party of Hispanics – overtime and if they drop strong positions on immigration/language issues. Giving up what you believe in seems dangerous, especially as it would ignore legitimate concerns regarding immigration. Frankly though, the share of their vote is going down.

Finally, anyone still believe politicians who say they never have a ‘political reason’ for increasing immigration levels?

Jack C

On the 8pm radio news, the BBC wheeled out some Republican cove with a profile who said that Romney would have probably won the Presidential if he had come across as the moderate Republican he was known to be but he had to come across with right-wing views in order to win the nomination. That tells us a lot about the toxicity of the Republican party.

My son follows social media websites, partly for work reasons. He told me that he was much amused at postings by Republican supporters saying American foreign policy was no business of foreigners.

IMO it was very telling that GW Bush was kept in the cupboard and not allowed to campaign for Romney whereas Bill Clinton was out there in swing states, like Ohio, campaigning for Obama. He had a good line on one news clip I watched. He said that he had done many jobs at one time or another – 27 on the last count – but he had never previously worked as a warm-up act for Bruce Springsteen. Clinton really has an appealing folksy touch which few can emulate. If anything, all that impeachment stuff during his Presidency has increased his popular appeal.

@103. Bob B: “If anything, all that impeachment stuff during his Presidency has increased his [Clinton's] popular appeal.”

Err, no. It demonstrates that USA citizens, in some way, tolerate creepy men.

Clinton did not commit a crime so the impeachment nonsense must be disregarded. But, as a man, he is a creep.

Charlieman

“Clinton did not commit a crime so the impeachment nonsense must be disregarded. But, as a man, he is a creep.”

The French have a saying: Chacun a son gout. But c’mon. When GW Bush was over here for a state visit in 2003, there was maximum security. He had to be flown to and from Buckingham Palace for his protection and so he didn’t see the hostile demonstrations.

When Bill Clinton turned up at a Labour Party Conference not long after, he was warmly greeted. Just look at the way people respond to him. He has popular appeal no matter what you say. And Hillary Clinton is getting star approval ratings.

In this Presidential campaign, the Repulicans had to keep GW Bush closeted, not least because his administration left the American economy set for the deepest recession since WW2. That indisputable fact didn’t fit the Republican campaign message that the Republican administrations are good for business.

Well, Clinton is not the only man to have benefited from revelations of sexual shenanigans once the immediate dust has settled.

We should also be careful of generalisations. Clinton’s warm reception at the Labour Conference does not mean that UK citizens, in some way, tolerate creepy men.

@105. Bob B: “When GW Bush was over here for a state visit in 2003, there was maximum security. He had to be flown to and from Buckingham Palace for his protection and so he didn’t see the hostile demonstrations.”

Can we think about “preference” versus “necessity”.

G W Bush did not require special “precautions”. There are nutters in London who hate every head of state and the police keep an eye on them; the only difference is that G W Bush attracted the attention of more nutters.

If the Pope and the Queen are prepared to display themselves in public, albeit in specially protected vehicles, G W Bush might be expected to get into an armoured taxi for his London visit from airport to Brenda’s House.

Remember that when anyone proclaims that “I’m special”, a siren goes off in your brain. In what way are they special?

Jack C

“Clinton’s warm reception at the Labour Conference does not mean that UK citizens, in some way, tolerate creepy men.”

We’ve not established that Clinton is widely regarded as creepy in Britain and btw I’m not aware of any reports of anti-Clinton demonstrations or sentiment here. I doubt that Labour Party managers would have risked the possibility of adverse reactions at a televised Labour Party conference event by introducing him.

Contrast the tight security during GWB’s state visit in 2003. That happened to roughly coincide with a British tour of the Dixie Chicks, a pop group from Texas, GWB’s home state where he had been governor:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dom7VlltBUc

The group’s leader singer made some critical comments about GWB which got reported – recall this was after the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. The reports provoked a strong reaction back home, the upshot of which was that a string of pop and folk-focused commercial radio stations in America – largely owned by Republican interests – pulled their discs. So much for Republican commitment to maintaining freedom of expression.

That’s creepy.

109. Chaise Guevara

@ 104 Charlieman

What’s creepy about Clinton?

I think it demonstrates that some people respect men (charming men, anyway) more for having an affair, no doubt for reasons based around annoying phrases like “red-blooded male”.

Charlieman

By several accounts on the web, the Obama campaign was better organised than the Republican campaign. Would the Democrats have risked alienating electors by putting up Bill Clinton to campaign in a crucial swing state like Ohio without being pretty sure he would have a warm welcome there? Which is just what happened. Look at the Ohio result.

As foreseen – and of greater importance:

“Yet many supporters of the Tea Party movement – whose agenda was rebuked across the US – claimed Mitt Romney had actually not been conservative enough, vowing to drive the party further to the Right.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/us-election/9662277/Republicans-descend-into-civil-war-as-Tea-Party-movement-vows-to-drive-party-further-to-the-right.html

It’s become very clear that Republicans are incapable of responding to electoral sentiments and priorities. Remember what Warren Buffett was saying in the NYT last year about taxing the rich:

“Last year [2010] my federal tax bill — the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf — was $6,938,744. That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income — and that’s actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.”

111. Chaise Guevara

@ 110 BoB B

“It’s become very clear that Republicans are incapable of responding to electoral sentiments and priorities.”

To be fair, to know that you’d have to know whether the amount of people they could “steal” from the Democrats by going left is at least half as many as they could pull out of apathy by going right. I suspect you’re correct, but it’s not definite.

Bob B @108,
I think my post was pretty clear .. I was pointing out Charlieman’s lazy smearing of 300 million people, not calling Clinton creepy.

@110:
“It’s become very clear that Republicans are incapable of responding to electoral sentiments and priorities”.

I’m not sure the Democrat’s failure to tax Buffet enough proves this.

113. Robin Levett

@Jack C #112:

I’m not sure the Democrat’s failure to tax Buffet enough proves this.

The House controls taxation. Who controls the House?

The Democrats did.

Ron Paul still has a chance of winning. RON PAUL 2012!!

The instructive insight from the news is how the Republicans have already started looking for a Latino candidate for the Presdiential election in 2016. Notice that. What matters is the candidate’s ethnicity, not Republican policies.

117. Robin Levett

@Jack C #114:

The Democrats did.

Only until the end of 2010; and the Bush tax cuts didn’t expire until 31 December 2010. The Dems tried to pass a package retaining the cuts from middle-earners, but allowing them to lapse for the higher earners, but the Republican blocking minority in the Senate filibustered it.

After 2010, the Republicans controlled the House, as they had from 1994-2006.

118. Chaise Guevara

@ 116 Bob B

Are they? A cursory Google doesn’t bring anything up.

Chaise: “Are they? A cursory Google doesn’t bring anything up.”

Try following news about Senator Marco Rubio.

120. Chaise Guevara

@ Bob B

As far as I can see, there’s conjecture and gossip, nothing more. And non-Republicans can suggest him as a candidate just as easily as party members.

It would probably be a smart move, though.

Good point Bob B. The odious Littlejohn, in an incredibly poisonous piece about Obama’s victory, is setting his hopes on Rubio.

I don’t know much about Rubio, but he can’t allow himself to stand as a Latino frontman for the same old Angry White Guy policies (which appears to be Littlejohn’s dream). Everyone will see through that. He will have to take on his own party first. Otherwise, having him on the ticket will have as much impact on the Hispanic vote as Sarah Palin had on the female vote in ’08.

American elections seem to be increasingly evolving towards a vast marketing exercise. By reports on the web, USD 5 billion was spent on promotions in this last one.

I’ve a puzzle about the results in this last election and would appreciate enlightenment. Obama attracted just over 50pc of the popular vote. The Democrats gained 3 Senate seats and now have a clear majority in the Senate. How come the Republicans have retained a majority in the House of Representives?

A few years back as I recall, there were news reports about the gerrymandering of electoral boundaries in Texas to favour the Republicans in elections for the House. This last August, the Guardian carried this report:

A federal court has blocked an attempt by Texas to redraw its electoral maps after the US justice department said the move was intended to diminish the impact of the Latino vote.

The US attorney general, Eric Holder, had described the proposed changes as part of a broader attack on civil rights by states trying to roll back laws ensuring the right to vote using redistricting, voter identity card laws and other tactics.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/28/texas-loses-electoral-maps-latinos

Does any of that explain why the Republicans have a majority in the House?

123. Robin Levett

@Bob B #122:

Senate elections are conducted by statewide ballot. Representative elections are conducted by ballots in congressional districts.

It is easy for a dominant state party to gerrymander congressional districts so as to produce skewed representation in the House of Representatives. It is not possible to gerrymander an entire state in the same way.

123 Robin

That is just what I had concluded. So much for elections in America being “free and fair”.

I’ve not followed the history of gerrymandering and ballot rigging in America closely but do recall claims that Kennedy’s win of the 1960 Presidential election had turned on the rigging of the ballot in Cook County, Illinois.

In this last election, I was much amused to note that the elections in Florida were still chaotic. After the debacle of what happened in 2000, they still hadn’t managed to sort out the election arrangements so Florida had not declared when Obama was declared elected President at about 4.30 British time.

The (many) BBC radio commenatators in America covering the elections had been saying that the polls had been too close to predict a winner and that it could take days or even weeks to know the outcome until the Florida result had been sorted out. In the event, the outcome in Florida was irrelevant.

125. Badstephen

Quite so. Neither party is blameless on this one. There seems to have been an unholy alliance to create as many uncompetitive House seats as possible. It looks as though the Democrats won a nationwide majority of House votes this time but must take some of the responsibility for that not translating into a majority of seats.

As remarked before, it’s remarkable how little support there was for Romney and the Republicans in western Europe even among centre-right parties, let alone in other places. What’s more, to all appearances, the Republicans clearly didn’t care about that. When Romney came to London, he dropped widely publicised gratuitous insults about the poor organisation of the then forthcoming Olympics.

Even had that been justified – and subsequent events proved him wrong – his comments were unnecessary and were certainly bound to alienate political and public opinion in one of America’s closest allies. Romney’s comments can only be described as crass and indicating a degree of incompetence at international diplomacy that would have made for a disastrous Presidency had he been elected.

The Republicans have some bridges to rebuild and fences to mend.


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  1. Jason Brickley

    Open thread: who will win the US elections? http://t.co/qrwzaWkV

  2. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – Open thread: who will win the US elections? http://t.co/ZNi1RCWD





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