Free Markets, Free People

Monthly Archives: November 2012


Obama Re-elected

And I was dead wrong.

When you get it wrong, what you normally should do is check your premise.  Mine was that the polls couldn’t have it right running a D+ anything.  That, based on 2010 and the resounding GOP victories then,  the 2008 model wasn’t valid anymore.  But it was, or at least D+ was.  Not as much as 2008 but still a plus.

Part of my premise rested on the assumption that the conventional wisdom of “this is a center-right country” was correct.   That particular bit of CW has been shaken to its foundations by this election.  I’ll never again make that assumption.

So, a tip of the hat to the pollsters who I claimed had it wrong.  They had it very right and tight.  The only consolation I have with my prediction is that I didn’t say “landslide”.  I knew it would be tight, but the other thing that let me down apparently, was my feeling I had read the “atmospherics” right.

Unlike 2008, I didn’t see the same level of enthusiasm on the left that I had seen then.  And actually, the results bear that out, but not at all to the degree I thought it would.  There was obviously just enough to see Obama through.  Romney did better than McCain but not “better” enough.

I knew my prediction was in jeopardy fairly early when NC and FL lingered and lingered and lingered without a winner being declared.  As I write this, FL is still lingering very near mandatory recount territory – not that it matters.

By any measure this was a close contest.  But when the dust has settled, Obama has won.

It will be interesting, in the coming days, to dissect the exit polls and try to determine why.  There are likely a myriad of reasons, some of which will be surprising and others which will likely surprise no one.

I’d like to say I’m not disappointed, but I am.  I still think Obama is a disaster and I haven’t seen anything in his recent campaign to change my mind. In fact, it did nothing but reinforce that feeling and add “meanspirited”, “small”, “petty” and “vindictive” to discriptors of the man.  Again, not that that matters in the big scheme of things because more Americans than not disagree with my assessment.

That brings me to the question of “why”?  Why did he get a 2nd chance?  And the answer lies somewhere in this shift to the left throughout the  electorate I believe.  Many Americans, apparently – and at least according to some of the exit polls I heard last night – are looking for someone to “take care of them”.  That’s quite a change and sort of sounds a death knell to the now “myth” of American self-reliance.  It also signals a profound change in how we view government.  I find that unsettling.

Another thing that bothers me is accountability.  I’ll make this a general statement.  For the most part, we don’t hold our politicians responsible for what they do or don’t do.  That very basic mistake is one of the reasons we’re in the shape we are now, in my opinion.  It is my assertion that Obama should have been held accountable for his failure to do what he said he’d do in his 4 years.  He hasn’t been. He failed miserably and he’s being given another chance.  No accountability, just excuses for his failure. Ironically, about half the country still holds George Bush responsible while apparently not holding Obama accountable for much of anything.

I’ve been through this before with Bill Clinton and other Democrat presidents.  However, even while I was not happy with them or their presidencies, we survived.  The difference, however, was I at least felt that they had some level of competence.  I have no confidence in Obama’s competence and, with nothing to lose now, expect to see the next 4 years devolve into something of a nightmare scenario.

But, in the end, we’ll survive it.  I’m not sure what the country will look like in 4 years, but it’ll still be here.

I now concede the floor to the predictable commenters who will show up to crow.  Go for it.  And even to the drive-by trolls who will show up this once to do the same.  It’s your day.  Just remember, I’m going to hold your comments up to this man’s performance over the next 4 years and compare “results” with promise.  I think, as we did in this 4 years, we’ll find the results to be sadly lacking.

The good news?  We’ll have plenty to write about here at QandO.  But we’d have had that had a Republican won as well.

~McQ


Obama Wins

So, I was as wrong as it’s possible to be. Hideously, egregiously, spectacularly wrong. Apparently, we aren’t a center-right nation any more. We will re-elect a president with the worst economic record since the Great Depression.

I made the mistake of being optimistic. I see that now. But not anymore. Pessimism, cynicism and sarcasm are really the only rational responses to the country that we’ve turned into. There will be no sudden resurgence of liberty. No diminution of government. No "Atlas Shrugged" moment, where the clear light of reason dawns on the electorate. We’ve become a country where a critical mass has latched onto a single demand for government: "Pay for all the things!"

So be it. In any democratic system, the people get the government they deserve, because it’s the government they’ve chosen. Fine. I say let the Democrats have everything they want. Higher taxes? Great. No problem. Hike ‘em up however you want. Universal health care? Fine by me. Massive defense cuts? Let’s start tomorrow. Continued debt expansion? Go for it.

At this point, I guess the only way to let the people see how bankrupt the Leftist ideal is, is to give them their fill of it. We’re headed in that direction anyway, why slow it up by occasional, gentle taps on the brakes? It’s gonna happen inevitably. The country I was born in is long gone. The country that’s taken its place is headed down the path to failure, and I find I no longer care much for it anyway.

If I’m going to be relegated to simply playing Cassandra, then let’s go the whole Trojan route. Let them burn it down.

Burn it all down.

~
Dale Franks
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Economic Statistics for 6 Nov 12

 

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

In weekly retail sales, Redbook reports only a 0.8% increase from the previous year. ICSC-Goldman reports a weekly sales decrease of –0.2%, and a weak 1.4% increase on a year-over-year basis. Obviously, these numbers are the result of Hurricane Sandy’s disruption.

That’s all the economic news for the day. Other than that, I can’t think of a single event that I might talk about today.

~
Dale Franks
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Final thoughts on today’s vote

John Podhoretz mentions something we’ve been talking about for a while:

If Mitt Romney wins tonight, it’ll likely be because of something revealed by a little-noticed statistic released yesterday by the polling firm Rasmussen — following a similar statistic last week from Gallup.

Rasmussen revealed that for the month of October, its data showed that among likely voters, the electorate is 39 percent Republican and 33 percent Democratic.

This comes from a survey of 15,000 people taken over the course of a month. Yes, 15,000 people —15 times the number in a statistically significant poll.

This number might be discounted, since Rasmussen has a reputation as leaning Republican. Except that last week, Gallup — the oldest and most reputable national pollster — released its party ID survey of 9,424 likely voters. And it came out 36 percent Republican, 35 percent Democrat.

I’m not at all comfy with R+6 from Rasmussen. But what should be taken away from this is the fact that two major polling firms have surveyed likely voters extensively and come up with similar results about the mix of self-identified Republicans and Democrats.   And what they’ve found is a profound shift from 2008.

Why does this matter?  Check history:

Because never in the history of polling, dating back to 1936, have self-identified Republicans outnumbered Democrats on Election Day. Never. Ever.

Hmmm.  So indies are breaking for Romney by 7 points, 13% of those who voted for Obama last time say they’re not going to vote for him this time and for the first time since 1936 we’re pretty sure that it is R+something, but Obama is going to win?

Excuse us for being skeptical again, but sometimes the “numbers” just don’t add up.  And, then, as we’ve mentioned, there are the atmospherics, something polling companies really don’t plug into at all.  Sometimes, as in 2010, the gut comes through because the brain has assimilated a lot more than the numbers provided and ends up with a conclusion that is contrary to the conventional wisdom.

I still believe this is one of those times.

~McQ


EPA on crash drive to end coal use as we know it – and the jobs that go with it

Apparently they fear an Obama loss:

President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency has devoted an unprecedented number of bureaucrats to finalizing new anti-coal regulations that are set to be released at the end of November, according to a source inside the EPA.

More than 50 EPA staff are now crashing to finish greenhouse gas emission standards that would essentially ban all construction of new coal-fired power plants. Never before have so many EPA resources been devoted to a single regulation. The independent and non-partisan Manhattan Institute estimates that the EPA’s greenhouse gas coal regulation will cost the U.S. economy $700 billion.

More of that laser like focus on creating or saving jobs, huh?

One more in a veritable litany of reasons to get rid of this guy tomorrow.

~McQ


ObamaCare begins to have its predicted effect

A law the country didn’t want and upheld by a ridiculous Supreme Court ruling is now beginning to have it’s predicted effect:

Some low-wage employers are moving toward hiring part-time workers instead of full-time ones to mitigate the health-care overhaul’s requirement that large companies provide health insurance for full-time workers or pay a fee.

Several restaurants, hotels and retailers have started or are preparing to limit schedules of hourly workers to below 30 hours a week. That is the threshold at which large employers in 2014 would have to offer workers a minimum level of insurance or pay a penalty starting at $2,000 for each worker.

The shift is one of the first significant steps by employers to avoid requirements under the health-care law, and whether the trend continues hinges on Tuesday’s election results. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has pledged to overturn the Affordable Care Act, although he would face obstacles doing so.

That’s really going to help the job situation, isn’t it?

When is government ever going to learn that its intrusion into the private affairs of men always has consequences, and, when they are outside the legitimate function of government in a free society, the effect is usually negative.

Congratulations Democrats, you’ve done it again.

~McQ


Observations: The QandO Podcast for 04 Nov 12

This week, Bruce, Michael, and Dale make their final election calls.

The direct link to the podcast can be found here.

Observations

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2010, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.


Prediction time (Update)

If you haven’t read Karl Rove’s analysis of the election, you ought too. Yeah, I know, Rove is partisan and all of that, but, like Michael Barone (who, by the way, has predicted a Romney win), he knows election demographics.

Rove makes a point that seems to be missed by a lot of people or, perhaps, ignored instead:

He maintains a small but persistent polling edge. As of yesterday afternoon, there had been 31 national surveys in the previous seven days. Mr. Romney led in 19, President Obama in seven, and five were tied. Mr. Romney averaged 48.4%; Mr. Obama, 47.2%. The GOP challenger was at or above 50% in 10 polls, Mr. Obama in none.

The number that may matter the most is Mr. Obama’s 47.2% share. As the incumbent, he’s likely to find that number going into Election Day is a percentage point or so below what he gets.

Why is that significant?

For example, in 2004 President George W. Bush had 49% in the final Gallup likely-voter track; he received 50.7% on Election Day. In 1996, President Clinton was at 48% in the last Gallup; he got 49.2% at the polls. And in 1992, President George H.W. Bush was at 37% in the closing Gallup; he collected 37.5% in the balloting.

If you can’t get above 47%, and your challenger is running above that number, chances are you aren’t going to win.

Then there are the polling demographics. Remember when I said that if a poll has D+ anything, it is likely wrong? I stand by that:

One potentially dispositive question is what mix of Republicans and Democrats will show up this election. On Friday last week, Gallup hinted at the partisan makeup of the 2012 electorate with a small chart buried at the end of its daily tracking report. Based on all its October polling, Gallup suggested that this year’s turnout might be 36% Republican to 35% Democratic, compared with 39% Democratic and 29% Republican in 2008, and 39% Republican and 37% Democratic in 2004. If accurate, this would be real trouble for Mr. Obama, since Mr. Romney has consistently led among independents in most October surveys.

So, assuming Gallup is right, and it is R+1 as we’ve been saying is likely here, what does that mean for the polling that’s going on?

Take a look at this handy little chart from RCP:

The chart makes the point about how important it is for the polling company to get the mix correct and the probability that many of them haven’t. If they’re not properly skewed, you aren’t going to get valid results. We know there are still polls being run out there with D+5 and up to D+8. Those were legitimate in 2008.

This ain’t 2008 (and you have to ignore 2010 to believe it is) by a long shot.

Then there’s this:

Gallup delivered some additional bad news to Mr. Obama on early voting. Through Sunday, 15% of those surveyed said they had already cast a ballot either in person or absentee. They broke for Mr. Romney, 52% to 46%. The 63% who said they planned to vote on Election Day similarly supported Mr. Romney, 51% to 45%.

So, what is happening is the Democrats are getting their most motivated voters to the polls early and they’re still running behind the GOP.  If, in fact, that’s the case, then who will the Dems be trying to turn out on Tuesday and how successful will they be?  It all comes down to enthusiasm, doesn’t it?  And as measured, that too resides on the side of the GOP (well, except for the NYT poll, unsurprisingly):

Finally, while looking that that chart, remember that independents have been breaking large toward Romney. More than for any GOP candidate in recent history.  Add all the other demographics that have shifted significant support from Obama in the last election to Romney in this one, not to mention the atmospherics that simply aren’t there for the incumbent and it is difficult to believe that Obama will win.

So, all that said, I’ll predict a Romney win with slightly over 50% and around 279 electoral votes.  I’ll also predict that Nate Silver will be donating $1,000 to charity and David Axlerod’s mustache will be absent Wednesday of next week.

UPDATE: A reminder for all the doubters out there who want to dismiss Rove – In 2008 Karl Rove predicted an Obama win with 338 EVs (actual: 365)

~McQ


Benghazi bottom line

Two things we now know the President didn’t do.  First from CBS:

CBS News has learned that during the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, the Obama Administration did not convene its top interagency counterterrorism resource: the Counterterrorism Security Group, (CSG).

“The CSG is the one group that’s supposed to know what resources every agency has. They know of multiple options and have the ability to coordinate counterterrorism assets across all the agencies,” a high-ranking government official told CBS News. “They were not allowed to do their job. They were not called upon.”

The second from a former SEAL officer who knows the protocol necessary to launch a rescue from outside Libya:

No administration wants to stumble into a war because a jet jockey in hot pursuit (or a mixed-up SEAL squad in a rubber boat) strays into hostile territory. Because of this, only the president can give the order for our military to cross a nation’s border without that nation’s permission. For the Osama bin Laden mission, President Obama granted CBA for our forces to enter Pakistani airspace.

On the other side of the CBA coin: in order to prevent a military rescue in Benghazi, all the POTUS has to do is not grant cross-border authority. If he does not, the entire rescue mission (already in progress) must stop in its tracks.

So, bottom line – He didn’t convene the CSG which would have been the lead agency to coordinate an attempted rescue from outside the country and he apparently never gave the CBA (which only he can issue) necessary to do so.

Or, in other words, he lied about doing everything necessary to save and protect the lives of those in combat in Libya.

Finally, the cover-up and attempting to deflect the blame:

Leon Panetta is falling on his sword for President Obama with his absurd-on-its-face, “the U.S. military doesn’t do risky things”-defense of his shameful no-rescue policy. Panetta is utterly destroying his reputation. General Dempsey joins Panetta on the same sword with his tacit agreement by silence. But why? How far does loyalty extend when it comes to covering up gross dereliction of duty by the president?

Great question.  Don’t expect an answer anytime soon.

~McQ

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