It’s Ryan

I haven’t talked about Romney’s Vice Presidential pick because I hate blogging about rumors. The rumors ended today when Mitt tabbed Paul Ryan as his running mate.

While I have a great admiration for Ryan, I think this is a mistake for the GOP. Ryan would go from a position where he has lots of power — he chairs the House budget committee — to a position where he has basically no power. The Treasury Secretary or Budget Director would be a better position for him. Ryan would be more useful to Romney where he is, not handing out mints at state dinners.

To be honest, it makes me more dubious of Romney. Ryan is a pick that grabs headlines, not one that necessarily makes for better governance. In fact, part of me wonders if this is a cynical move by the Republicans to avoid hard choices. Ryan is the only Republican who has proposed a serious plan to balance the budget. It does so by heavily restricting Medicare (entitlements now have something like $200 trillion in unfunded liability). Is this a move to sideline him so that we can go back to the bad old days of spend, spend, spend?

Or am I being too conspiratorial?

As I said, I like Ryan. I like to see him get attention. He will destroy Biden in the debates (good God, that will be fun to watch; like watching the Packers play my grandmother). But … in the end, no one votes for a Vice President. This is going to come down to Romney v. Obama.

Update: The New Yorkers has a great profile on Ryan. He really is an extraordinary person. Here’s what happened after his father died when he was 16.

“It was just a big punch in the gut,” Ryan said. “I concluded I’ve got to either sink or swim in life.” His mother went back to school, in Madison, and studied interior design; his grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, moved into their home, and Ryan helped care for her. “I grew up really fast,” he said.

He took both schoolwork and extracurricular activities more seriously, he told me. In his junior year, he was elected class president, which made him prom king and gave him a seat representing the high school on Janesville’s school board, his first political position. He played soccer and was on the ski team. He joined nearly every school club: Latin Club, History Club, the Letterman’s Club, for varsity athletes, and the International Geographic Society, which was open to students who received an A in geography, and which met monthly to learn about a different country. At the end of his senior year, he was elected Biggest Brown-Noser. (“At least I didn’t have a mullet,” he said.)

His father’s death also provoked the kind of existential soul-searching that most kids don’t undertake until college. “I was, like, ‘What is the meaning?’ ” he said. “I just did lots of reading, lots of introspection. I read everything I could get my hands on.” Like many conservatives, he claims to have been profoundly affected by Ayn Rand. After reading “Atlas Shrugged,” he told me, “I said, ‘Wow, I’ve got to check out this economics thing.’ What I liked about her novels was their devastating indictment of the fatal conceit of socialism, of too much government.” He dived into Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, and Milton Friedman.

Can we swap the Vice-President and Presidential picks, please?

Comments are closed.

  1. West Virginia Rebel

    On the one hand, I fear that a guy like Ryan would find the Vice Presidency dull as dishwater. The VP’s job is basically to check on the President’s health and to cast the tie breaking vote in the Senate, and that’s about it. There’s also the possibility that he will outshine his running mate on the campaign trail.

    On the other hand, it is a rather bold pick for Romney; at the very least Ryan should keep the election focused on real issues, and he won’t back down from a fight.

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  2. JimK

    Let’s face it, there’s still a lot of mileage left in the “Let’s get the Veep some national Administration experience and then run him at the top” concept. Ryan can energize Romney and swing those people who would like to see him in the big chair one day. This gets him a legit, straight shot at it if he can carry Romney up over the hill.

    Plus, like you said Hal…Ryan keeps a laser focus on the economy which is bad, bad bad for Obama in every way.

    For the first time in my adult life, I am proud…to be relatively excited for a VP candidate? If we hope to get libertarian-esque influence into the White House, I’m thinking now’s the time for step one: Elect the boring Ken Doll, and see if we can’t get the dude with some balls & brains into the game a little sooner than we might otherwise.

    Unlike the last “energizing” Veep pick, this one is ready.

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  3. richtaylor365

    I think this is a mistake for the GOP.

    I think it was the smartest pick he could have made. If you tick down the short list, everyone had some liability, some baggage, not Ryan.

    to a position where he has basically no power.

    He will have tremendous power. Pundits list Cheney as the most influential VP ever, that could change with Ryan. Except for maybe foreign policy (even there he is hitting the books) there is no aspect of government, how government works, that Ryan is not an expert in.

    Ryan is a pick that grabs headlines, not one that necessarily makes for better governance

    I disagree. Going with the smartest man in Washington, going with such a policy wonk, the guy that wrote his own budget forchrissakes, shows me Romney’s Reagan side, the guy that said ,” It is amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit”.

    Romney’s strengths are his business acumen and as a job creator, but weak with all the governing stuff, how Washington works, and how to get things done there, is there any better man more qualified to apprentice him through the morass then Ryan?

    Or am I being too conspiratorial?

    Yes

    He will destroy Biden in the debates (good God, that will be fun to watch; like watching the Packers play my grandmother).

    Ryan is above all a gentleman, he will be respectful and dignified, smackdowns are not in his nature.

    Can we swap the Vice-President and Presidential picks, please?

    Romney has earned his shot, let’s see what happens. Everyone says nobody votes for the VP, OK, and maybe Romney thinks he knows it all and will not afford himself of that valuable resource which is Ryan’s advice and intellect, but having such a resource sitting next to you on bus tours and within earshot for any back and forths, this can only help Romney.

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  4. Poosh

    The left have apparently labeled him an Ayn Rand zealot because he is influenced by her… What is with the brains of the left? Do they not realise few people (apart from the left) simply pick a philosopher and follow to the letter everything they say. Real philosophy is about wading through the hundreds of philosophers out there and using reason to sort it all out. Then again, if you’re a leftist, and think Marx is the be all and end all, then one can understand how they would apply their own defective thinking to conservatives and the right.

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  5. Xetrov

    Ryan was my top pick, so I’m hopeful. Sure it takes him off of the Budget Committee, but as VP, the President can put him over various finance departments, and he can still coordinate budgets with the House. The VP position doesn’t have to be just for show. The President can rely on the VP heavily, especially if it is a competent person, like Ryan. Especially in budgetary matters.

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  6. Hal_10000 *

    Poosh, you said it. The Left always wants intellectuals. And now they hate this guy because he’s too intellectual. I disagree with Rand quite a bit but she’s been a powerful influence on me

    I’m warming up to this pick as time goes on. I just really liked having him in the House. Anyone who enrages the left this way had a leg up.

    Ryan is a gentleman but he will destroy Biden in the debates. Not with smack downs but with his knowledge and insight

    Was just talking to people who said this will focus attn on Ryan’s budget. Umm. That’s the idea!

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  7. Seattle Outcast

    Can we swap the Vice-President and Presidential picks, please?

    I’ve had that thought way, way too often over the years. At least we didn’t get a VP candidate that was an obvious negative like the donkeys do time and again (“insurance policy” is the only answer as to why that happens like clockwork). The proof of the pudding will be when we discover what type of VP Romney plans to have: the “bucket of warm spit” or an active VP that gets shit done.

    What is with the brains of the left?

    When you are left with clowns like Pelosi, Boxer, Reid, Obama, Biden, Axelrod, Jarret, etc, it is quite obvious that original thinking took took the 4:00 PM bus out of town in 1968 and never bothered to come back. The left is intellectually bankrupt, and has been for decades. “Stupid as a box of rocks” pretty much covers it, and has for quite some time. You won’t go wrong underestimating the intellectual capacity of “journalists”, marxists, moogoo, and other assorted water carriers for the DNC…

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  8. CM

    It’s worth recalling how Ryan became a semi-household name. It wasn’t a Republican strategy to put him forward. As Ryan Lizza recounts in his New Yorker profile of Ryan, it was a Democratic strategy to put Ryan forward. Ryan, he writes, “was caught between the demands of the Republican leaders, who wanted nothing to do with his Roadmap, and his own belief that the Party had to offer a sweeping alternative vision to Obama’s. Ryan soon had an unlikely ally, in Obama himself.” While Republicans were trying to keep Ryan quiet, the Obama administration was trying to make him famous. They saw his plans as the clearest distillation of the GOP’s governing philosophy — and they thought it would drive voters towards the Democrats. We’ll know in November whether that was a genius strategy or an epic miscalculation.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/08/11/paul-ryan-will-be-mitt-romneys-vice-presidential-pick-heres-seven-thoughts-on-what-that-means/

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  9. Monolith

    Ryan was my top pick, so I’m hopeful. Sure it takes him off of the Budget Committee, but as VP, the President can put him over various finance departments, and he can still coordinate budgets with the House. The VP position doesn’t have to be just for show. The President can rely on the VP heavily, especially if it is a competent person, like Ryan. Especially in budgetary matters.

    For the record, I agree 100%. Refreshing to have an adult in the conversation. He was my first pick. The guy has the spark. Look forward to following his path to the big chair.

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  10. repmom

    CM –

    The commenters on your first link aren’t happy. According to some, it’s quite the doomsday in the making.

    Do you have an opinion, or just links?

    The last point in that link says that with this VP we will have an election based on issues. Sounds good to me.

    Would have been happy with Christie or Rubio, but Ryan seems okay from what some here have said..

    Just thank God it’s not someone stupid like Palin or Bachmann. Or Santorium.

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  11. Mississippi Yankee

    Paul Ryan was my absolute 2nd choice right after John Bolton (and yes, I really am that kind of asshole) But in my heart I knew it would never happen. But it has always been my opinion that the VP position is, or should be, the the bull dog slot. And where Bolton might have brought fury Mr. Ryan will,I’m sure,will use panache’ and wit to damage the left all the more completely.

    A huge sigh of relief emitted from this old man however when Chris Christie was not picked. I feel his craving for power is only encompassed by his uncontrolled appetite for food. Also I don’t consider myself a one issue voter. That said Christie’s stated views on immigration, gun control, AGW along with Cap and Trade are things I could never get behind.

    I’m sorry repmom, I further feel the GOP can ill afford to lose a fine conservative senator like Rubio during, IMO, the most important battle this November, control of the Senate. Rubio’s star is on the rise and I feel great things are in store for him.

    As a side note will anyone be surprised when Joe Biden develops “health issues” and must leave the race?

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  12. CM

    CM –

    The commenters on your first link aren’t happy. According to some, it’s quite the doomsday in the making.

    Do you have an opinion, or just links?

    My first link was Klein. I can’t see what you are referring to there.

    My opinion is that Romney is trying for a ‘game changer’ here, which is what he needs to do. I’m not sure it’ll be enough to win him the election. He needs to convince enough of those undecideds in a handful of swing states. They’re unlikely to be persuaded by an ideologue. But he’s got to try something, Ryan is impressive – he’s got the charm that Romney sorely lacks. He’s clearly very bright and quick on his feet.
    My overall opinion is that it’ll make the rest of the campaign and the election even more interesting. An interesting campaign and election is my No. 1 hope. As for the election result itself, I’d probably find it more interesting if the Romney/Ryan wins. I’d like to see how their economic plan doesn’t make things harder for the middle class (how paying less tax won’t be more than offset by reduction in programs/benefits for them).

    CM -that you linked to Klein, an intellectual dog turd, pretty much proves that Obama is shitting himself over this news.

    I would have thought he’d be Obama’s preferred opposition VP candidate. I’m sure Obama is pleased to see Romney is at the point where he’s gambling.
    What did Klein say in the piece I linked to that is so inaccurate? There’s nothing really in there that others aren’t also saying.

    Frum isn’t happy, that’s for sure. But then he’s apparently in the “disgruntled former employee” category now and can be dismissed.

    Nate Silver:

    When is it rational to take a big risk?

    When the status quo isn’t proceeding in a way that you feel is favorable. When you have less to lose. When you need — pardon the cliché, but it’s appropriate here — a “game change.”

    When a prudent candidate like Mitt Romney picks someone like Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate, it suggests that he felt he held a losing position against President Obama. The theme that Mr. Romney’s campaign has emphasized for months and months — that the president has failed as an economic leader — may have persuaded 47 or 48 or 49 percent of voters to back him, he seems to have concluded. But not 50.1 percent of them, and not enough for Mr. Romney to secure 270 electoral votes.

    Why am I concluding that Mr. Romney would have chosen Mr. Ryan only if he felt he was losing? Because from a Politics 101 point of view, this isn’t the most natural choice.

    Vice-presidential choices are inherently risky to a degree, but the risks are asymmetric, and weighted toward the downside: It’s far easier to name choices who undermined campaigns than those who helped them. The best way to mitigate that downside risk is to select someone who has been tested on a national stage before, ideally by having run for president themselves — or failing that, by having been elected multiple times from a large and diverse state.

    Mr. Ryan is a national figure of some repute — before Saturday morning, his national name recognition was about 50 percent — but he has never been elected to anything larger than his Congressional district of about 700,000 people. Members of the House of Representatives have only occasionally been selected as running mates. The last one on a winning ticket was John Nance Garner, the speaker of the House, in 1932. The last time an ordinary member of the House was elected vice president, and the last Republican, was more than 100 years ago: in 1908, when William Howard Taft and James S. Sherman, a New York congressman, were chosen by voters. (Coincidentally, that fall was also the last time that the Chicago Cubs won the World Series.)

    Politics 101 suggests that you play toward the center of the electorate. Although this rule has more frequently been violated when it comes to vice-presidential picks, there is evidence that presidential candidates who have more “extreme” ideologies (closer to the left wing or the right wing than the electoral center) underperform relative to the economic fundamentals.

    Various statistical measures of Mr. Ryan peg him as being quite conservative. Based on his Congressional voting record, for instance, the statistical system DW-Nominate evaluates him as being roughly as conservative as Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.

    By this measure, in fact, which rates members of the House and Senate throughout different time periods on a common ideology scale, Mr. Ryan is the most conservative Republican member of Congress to be picked for the vice-presidential slot since at least 1900. He is also more conservative than any Democratic nominee was liberal, meaning that he is the furthest from the center. (The statistic does not provide scores for governors and other vice-presidential nominees who never served in Congress.)

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  13. Poosh

    Paul Ryan was my absolute 2nd choice right after John Bolton (and yes, I really am that kind of asshole)

    I love you! (in a manly way).

    But I give them 2 weeks (rather than 1) to Sarah Palin him. The spin has already begun with the Ayn Rand stuff and calling him “risky” and all sorts. From what I know, even Ryan isn’t prepared to properly cut your debt. So he’s actually being smeared as extreme for actually being timid.

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  14. Poosh

    ” Like many conservatives, he claims to have been profoundly affected by Ayn Rand. After reading “Atlas Shrugged,” he told me, “I said, ‘Wow, I’ve got to check out this economics thing.’ What I liked about her novels was their devastating indictment of the fatal conceit of socialism, of too much government.” He dived into Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, and Milton Friedman.

    If he’s absorbed Mises then perhaps I underestimate him. You’ll be in good hands. He’d tear apart Obama.

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  15. Section8

    CM –

    The commenters on your first link aren’t happy. According to some, it’s quite the doomsday in the making.

    Do you have an opinion, or just links?

    CM is our very own Iraqi Information Minister. Just loaded with propaganda that leaves you shaking your head sometimes.

    While in no way shape or form is he an ideologue, he has a very narrow view of what is “center”, and that’s basically big government leftist policies, and anything outside of this is the “fringe”, but he’s not an ideologue, remember that. Anyhow, he’ll prove he’s not an ideologue by posting links to left wing sites, left wing commentators and former Kos bloggers as his reasoning that the right is extreme. So see, if other leftist ideologues think the right is extreme, then it must be extreme! Anyhow, the left see this as a wild gamble, and I hope they keep thinking this way just like they think shouting the word racist will continue to guilt people at the polls.

    Here’s the deal about Ryan. He’s not a gamble. In fact, it would finally appear the GOP establishment is realizing they aren’t going anywhere without fiscal conservatives coming back to the voting booth. Of course the idea of fiscal conservatism is extreme to left wing ideologues that believe every government program is a good program, and every solution to fix the problems of that “good” program is to throw more money at it. From their view being efficient with money is never an option and is impossible to accomplish. That’s just crazy talk.

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  16. Seattle Outcast

    I can’t see what you are referring to there.

    Then I’ll put it in terms you can get, even for a non-American…

    1) The most generous way to describe Ezra Klein is a liar. And not the kind that tells little fibs here and there to make kids feel better about their dog that has “gone to live in the country”.

    2) He’s not trusted by anybody, even those he’s on the same side of. Nobody except Rachel Maddow puts any stock in anything he says, and she’s swimming in the same Kool-Aid

    3) He puts himself out there as an some sort of intellectual, but his day-to-day ideas and grand concepts are easily picked apart as not only pedestrian, but frequently too stupid to be believed

    4) Klein often purports neutrality and giving all sides equal consideration and weight, you know, so you know that he’s giving you the straight dope after exhaustive analysis of of the subject (he’s also an expert on all all things), but any reading of his material shows that his “neutrality” only extends to far left opinions. So, if you want to know what Marx, Castro, Obama, Stalin, Lenin, and FDR think of your lemonade stand, he’s the go-to guy. If you were hoping for Reagan’s opinion, be prepared to find out that good ‘ole Ron buggered small girls in the ass while stealing cars.

    5) Klein’s utter contempt for the constitution, people over 35, and non-liberals is about as well hidden as a supernova in the living room, and becomes more so each day as he just gives up trying to even bother pretending to be neutral. He’s made no bones that these people just need to die and get out of the way of his new utopia.

    He may be hot shit in NZ, but in the USA he’s a polarizing asshole. Outside of a very small group he is not respected in the slightest, and he’s seen a a complete tool of of the far left.

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  17. TxAg94

    How long until Ryan and Romney butt heads? How long until the differences start to show through in the campaign? When you have a (hopefully) true intellectual versus a money guy who will say whatever he thinks he needs to say at any given moment, things are sure to get a little tense. I have felt from the beginning that Romney is a heartbeat away from doing something so stupid it instantly puts his campaign in jeopardy. Now he has a guy who might be in a position to see it, try to stop it. But guys like Romney aren’t used to being questioned so I wonder it there will be some friction.

    I guess i like Ryan as the VP pick but we don’t vote for VP. So will the campaign change more to line up with Ryan’s thinki9ng or will Ryan bend to match the Romney “thinking”?

    I’m with whoever it was who asked if we could swap the ticket to Ryan/Romney.

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  18. Poosh

    CM is our very own Iraqi Information Minister. Just loaded with propaganda that leaves you shaking your head sometimes.

    Section8 gets some manly love too, today.

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  19. Poosh

    a money guy who will say whatever he thinks he needs to say at any given moment, things are sure to get a little tense.

    And how far would Romney have got if that *was* his way of doing things?

    You know, if you look at Romney as with many who gets that sort of wealth, he understands success and the idea of “getting shit done”. He is driven by a need to succeed, and has no intention of not getting the job done. That alone does not mean he will get the job done, but it does suggest he intends to honestly do what is needed to fix your country. Part of him is driven by the kind of ego that needs to be victorious in his remit.

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  20. richtaylor365

    I have felt from the beginning that Romney is a heartbeat away from doing something so stupid it instantly puts his campaign in jeopardy.

    You mean if he said something really insane, like:

    “Spreading the wealth around is better for everyone.”
    or
    “If you got a business, you did not build that.”
    or
    “The middle class is doing fine.”
    or even
    “We tried their way, then we tried our way, and our way worked.”

    Yeah, that would be bad.

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  21. CM

    CM is our very own Iraqi Information Minister. Just loaded with propaganda that leaves you shaking your head sometimes.

    Says the guy trying to influence your thoughts, in case you reach different conclusions if left to your own devices. Touche.

    While in no way shape or form is he an ideologue, he has a very narrow view of what is “center”, and that’s basically big government leftist policies, and anything outside of this is the “fringe”, but he’s not an ideologue, remember that. Anyhow, he’ll prove he’s not an ideologue by posting links to left wing sites, left wing commentators and former Kos bloggers as his reasoning that the right is extreme. So see, if other leftist ideologues think the right is extreme, then it must be extreme! Anyhow, the left see this as a wild gamble, and I hope they keep thinking this way just like they think shouting the word racist will continue to guilt people at the polls.

    Racist!

    Then I’ll put it in terms you can get, even for a non-American…

    Ouch, that hurt.
    All that and yet still no substance at all. You’re just saying exactly the same thing, just with more words (i.e. still playing the man and not the ball). Again, in that brief numbered initial analysis by Klein, what is so wrong as to be ridiculous?

    He may be hot shit in NZ,

    I doubt more than about 3% of the population have even heard of the guy.

    I’m with whoever it was who asked if we could swap the ticket to Ryan/Romney.

    Romney already made the swap when he introduced Ryan. ;-)

    Section8 gets some manly love too, today.

    Don’t forget to stand in a tight circle.

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  22. CM

    Here’s the deal about Ryan. He’s not a gamble. In fact, it would finally appear the GOP establishment is realizing they aren’t going anywhere without fiscal conservatives coming back to the voting booth. Of course the idea of fiscal conservatism is extreme to left wing ideologues that believe every government program is a good program, and every solution to fix the problems of that “good” program is to throw more money at it. From their view being efficient with money is never an option and is impossible to accomplish. That’s just crazy talk.

    Of course Ryan is a gamble. Romney is being bold, and he has to be. He’s been bleeding in the polls that matter and also nationally. He’s been running a generic strategy (a belief that the dreary state of “Obama’s economy” would by itself be sufficient to bring about a Republican White House restoration). It hasn’t worked. If it had, he’d be going with Portman or Pawlenty or some other safe, do-no-harm option. If you’ve got a good thing going, why mess with it?
    The gamble is that for the rest of the campaign, he and Ryan will be answering for the social safety net cuts, Medicare voucherisation and steep tax cuts for the wealthy that Ryan has called for. To say this is politically risky is an understatement. The left wing ideologues are irrelevant to this equation as I’m sure you know. It’s the swinging voters that matter (the people far from the ideological extremes). The sort of people who elected Kathy Hochul:

    Hochul made the Medicare plan (which Corwin initially said she’d support) the heart of her campaign message. And the race played out as polls showed that the Tea Party itself was becoming severely unpopular with swing voters. The deeply unpopular Medicare plan was one of the reasons for this. In 2009 and 2010, most swing voters mainly saw the Tea Party as a movement opposed to Barack Obama’s policies. But now, with Republicans running the House (and numerous statehouses across the country) and pushing the Tea Party’s agenda, swing voters have come to see it as an extreme ideological movement. And there’s no better representation of that extremism than the Medicare plan.

    It’s crazy talk to suggest left wing ideologues matter, or that swinging voters are left wing ideologues.

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  23. Section8

    But now, with Republicans running the House (and numerous statehouses across the country) and pushing the Tea Party’s agenda, swing voters have come to see it as an extreme ideological movement. And there’s no better representation of that extremism than the Medicare plan.

    Says the author in CMs left wing link to Salon.com. Just more evidence of this left wing ideologue attacking right. CM just doesn’t have the honesty to admit he is one, I have no issue stating I’m strong in my views, and if that makes me an ideologue, so be it, but no lies from me. And repmom, you can look through the archives of where he’s denied it over and over and over again. By all means, you don’t have to take my word for it, but the more you deal with him the more you’ll know his “objectivity” is a load of crap.

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  24. CM

    Yikes, here we go yet again. I link to something in support of an argument (the argument being that I’m not sure this is going to be good for Romney’s actual chances of becoming President) and the very fact that I’m even making the argument is apparently further “evidence” that I’m a “left wing ideologue”?
    This kind of nonsense holds water where you live?

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  25. Section8

    No moron, your basis for right wing extremism comes right from narratives from leftist sites that support leftist extremism. As explained by many here hundreds of times over. Play stupid all you want. My initial point wasn’t to debate with you as that results in a waste of time. Anyhow conversation over on my end.

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  26. ilovecress

    I think it’s a great pick – for winning the election – I couldn’t say how it works out in governing.

    Essentially, Romney has signalled a move to the right, and that’s what the ‘gamble’ is. Recapturing the enthusiasm of the tea Party is key – remember CM it’s not just about the undecideds, it’s about actually getting people out to vote, and creating momentum.

    The problem for Romney is that he has to handle the media really really well, as Ryan could easily outshine him – and I mean easily. Which debate are you more interested in Romney/Obama or Ryan/Obama? Ryan will have to stay in his box a little more than he would be able to as a supporter.

    And in this way, it is a risk for Romney personally, (although I’m not sure how this translates into the race) – the jobs jobs jobs business man has just signed up to talking about ‘the Paul Ryan budget’ for the next 90 days. The ads will decry the Obama Economy – but say the solution is Paul Ryans Budget – not Romneys budget.

    So for the undecideds, you have to weigh up how many votes Ryan will bring, with the votes Romney will lose by looking less presidential.

    It’s definitely a more interesting pick, and the best of the shortlist.

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  27. repmom

    I’m not going to copy any comments. On my iPad, and can’t seem to master all that on this thing.

    Anyway – if CM’s comment about Section 8 trying to influence was directed at me -which it did seem to be – then he needs to understand a few things about me.

    I like to hear from both sides – which is why I asked for his opinion rather than links. But, I am not easily persuaded by others. I have been around here long enough to know who’s opinion I value, and who’s I don’t. I have always valued Section 8’s, and always interested in what he has to say, whether I agree with it or not.

    And I always try to be nice to everyone, until they give me reason not to be.

    And I don’t believe for a moment that CM is objective.

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  28. ilovecress

    S8 – I’m not so sure that CM is wrong – but hear me out.

    Austerity is always popular in the abstract. Its kind of like how everyone here probably recognises that credit cards aren’t a good idea, but when it comes to buying a new iPad, then it looks a bit more attractive.

    Same with Ryans budget – when discussing it as a hypothetical, then it is attractive, and makes a lot of sense – but when you’re at the voting booth, wondering if you really want to scrap medicare for gramma, and give up on some of those middle class tax breaks that the Obama team have been scaring you about – the importance of long term fiscal responsibility becomes less important.

    Should be interesting – the Ryan budget is going to be pulled apart in front of everyone, and we’ll get to see everyones bona fides in economic matters. I’m obviously not a fan, but I’m looking forward to the chance to see the debate play out.

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  29. CM

    Essentially, Romney has signalled a move to the right, and that’s what the ‘gamble’ is. Recapturing the enthusiasm of the tea Party is key – remember CM it’s not just about the undecideds, it’s about actually getting people out to vote, and creating momentum.

    Very true.

    It’s definitely a more interesting pick, and the best of the shortlist.

    Totally agree. He had no real choice given the state of polling.

    No moron, your basis for right wing extremism comes right from narratives from leftist sites that support leftist extremism.

    You clearly suggested that I’m a left-wing ideologue (“CM just doesn’t have the honesty to admit he is one”, “CM is our very own Iraqi Information Minister.” ). Left-wing extremism would inherently need to mean the replacement of regulated capitalism (a miaxed system) with something else. I don’t think I’ve ever linked to any site which advocates anything like that, let alone signed up to what they were advocating. Notwithstanding the specific examples where I’m off-side with ‘the left’ (gun control and immigration being two examples), your accusation is just absurd. The fact that you keep doing it despite the evidence pointing to the contrary is bizarre.

    Right or left extremism usually manifests in a desire to move significantly in one direction or the other. I’ve never argued that (although I’ve asked questions about the sustainability of the current systems). Despite Ryan’s voting under the Bush administration (spend spend spend, higher deficits), his budget is extreme. If you want to argue that it’s not, I’d be interested in your argument and the supporting evidence. But you’re clearly only interested in humping my leg (while staring lovingly in Poosh’s eyes as he humps the other). I’ve twice asked specifically what you didn’t like about Klein’s column and you’ve decided to keep humping instead.

    Thumb up 1

  30. CM

    Anyway – if CM’s comment about Section 8 trying to influence was directed at me -which it did seem to be – then he needs to understand a few things about me.

    Just noting the apparent need to poison you towards me.

    I like to hear from both sides – which is why I asked for his opinion rather than links. But, I am not easily persuaded by others. I have been around here long enough to know who’s opinion I value, and who’s I don’t. I have always valued Section 8′s, and always interested in what he has to say, whether I agree with it or not.

    I’m interested too. I just wish he’d leave all the personal nonsense out of it.
    (BTW do you realise you asked me for an opinion instead of just links, but I was following your post in which you did the same? ;-p)

    And I always try to be nice to everyone, until they give me reason not to be.

    Same. I posted for years at MW forums doing exactly that, and made some long term internet ‘friends’ (right-wingers).

    And I don’t believe for a moment that CM is objective.

    Nobody is, it’s practically impossible. But surely the point is continually striving to be as objective as possible. Surely actually hearing and considering both sides of anything provides people with the opportunity to make a more objective assessment. Section 8 seemingly believes that the existence of another argument is offensive. To the point where he won’t even engage on the substance – he immediates starts with personal attacks.
    There is simply no good reason why this thread had to descend into this garbage.

    Thumb up 1

  31. Section8

    Same with Ryans budget – when discussing it as a hypothetical, then it is attractive, and makes a lot of sense – but when you’re at the voting booth, wondering if you really want to scrap medicare for gramma, and give up on some of those middle class tax breaks that the Obama team have been scaring you about – the importance of long term fiscal responsibility becomes less important.

    Ok I won’t deny that people are afraid of any type of change. Even if something is heading towards broke or a program is inefficient or just flat out bad (and that can be anything, a failed war on drugs, hunger, whatever, or some goodies program) people will be hard pressed to want to modify it. I don’t even have an issue discussing any of these things.

    What I do have an issue with and was the point of my post is an ideologue who DENIES he’s an ideologue such as CM running around using the words extreme, or fringe, or other words to describe us here or fiscal conservatives in general under the banner of objectivity which he tends to do, hence the propaganda minister comment. The argument of whether this Medicare thing could scare people is valid, but so is the argument the Obama is not doing all that great in the polls, it was fiscal conservatives that walked away from the GOP, and Romney alone is not the one who is going to win them back which he is going to need and has nothing to do with desperation. That should be something an objective person would take seriously. CM is not it. And as I’ve said many times before I wouldn’t even have an issue with his left leaning narrow views if he’d just be honest about it. I had my disagreements with George, but I’ve stated I respected for the fact that he at least made no secret of where he stands.

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  32. repmom

    CM –

    I think S8 does engage in substance, but I will let him defend himself. Clearly, some here do simply attack.

    Less links, more of your own opinion. And yes, I am guilty of posting a link about donors liking the pick. I offered my opinion – weak as it was – in my next comment.

    I seem to have a habit here of being the “hall monitor”. Must – and will – work on that.

    Thumb up 2

  33. CM

    What I do have an issue with and was the point of my post is an ideologue who DENIES he’s an ideologue such as CM running around using the words extreme, or fringe, or other words to describe us here or fiscal conservatives in general under the banner of objectivity which he tends to do, hence the propaganda minister comment.

    Advocating funding cuts like Ryan has (and some do here is an extreme move). It’s not a subtle move. Pointing that doesn’t make me an ideologue. Not even in the slightest.
    E.g.

    A variety of think tanks and analysts have pegged the cost of repairing and upgrading our transportation networks at somewhere between $200 billion and $262 billion per year over the next decade. The White House’s budget envisions spending an average of about $104 billion per year over that time. Ryan’s budget, meanwhile, allocates $78 billion per year.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/08/12/what-paul-ryans-budget-actually-cuts-and-by-how-much/

    1. If this is incorrect I’d like to know.
    2. If it’s correct, it’s significant.

    The reason I so often qualify what I say (and use questions) is because I often don’t feel informed enough to have a firm opinion. You mistake this for me being dishonest, but I would argue the exact opposite. It would be dishonest for me to pretend I have enough information to have a bold and unqualified opinion on the matter.
    I’ve never met of a left-wing ideologue who can’t believe illegal immigrants can get govt assistance or employment, who believes the gun-control opposition in the US is reasonable and understandable, and who favours stingent tests for govt assistance (drug testing, having people prove they’re actively looking for work and taking whatever is on offer), who always advocates full transparency and accountability in govt action (esp. spending).

    The argument of whether this Medicare thing could scare people is valid, but so is the argument the Obama is not doing all that great in the polls,

    Which polls are you looking at?
    Nate Silver and RealClear Politics polls (and averaging) have all been heading for an Obama win for a while.

    Romney alone is not the one who is going to win them back which he is going to need and has nothing to do with desperation. That should be something an objective person would take seriously. CM is not it.

    Romney isn’t going to win them back at all.
    This will energise the base on both sides.
    If I was in better agreement with Ryan’s economics, I’d be a huge fan. The guy seems to genuinely believe in what he advocates, he genuinely seems to be a guy that can work with anyone else, he seems to be genuinely respected, he has a great back-story (how can anyone not have sympathy for someone who lost their father like that at that age, and took life by the scruff of the neck from that point onwards?). I really like the fact that he put out a plan and has been willing to defend it. He’s charming and interesting. He’s so much that Romney isn’t.
    Honestly though, the fiscal conservatives would be voting for Romney anyway, just to stop Obama getting another term (how many fiscal conservatives here would have not voted – my guess is none). I think it will lose the GOP ticket more votes than it will gain for them. Esp in the places that matter like Florida.

    I think S8 does engage in substance, but I will let him defend himself.

    He can, no question.

    Less links, more of your own opinion.

    Fair enough. Usually other people express what I’m thinking better than I can. Sometimes they say something that I’ve found to be interesting and which I think adds to the discussion (but which I don’t necessarily agree with).

    And yes, I am guilty of posting a link about donors liking the pick. I offered my opinion – weak as it was – in my next comment.

    ;-) I honestly wasn’t bothered by it, just wondered if you noticed.

    I seem to have a habit here of being the “hall monitor”. Must – and will – work on that.

    I spent more than enough time with my desk out in the hall at school.

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  34. Mississippi Yankee

    My recollection of Thunderdome is down and dirty, eye-gouging, no holds barred winner take all. But then again that was 9-10 years ago. Perhaps the old memory factory ain’t what it used to be.

    Yet come to think of it CM, in a loquacious “I’ll never admit I’m wrong” kinda way, does remind me of a certain Waster of Drums.

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  35. Seattle Outcast

    the very fact that I’m even making the argument is apparently further “evidence” that I’m a “left wing ideologue”?

    Yeah, it’s about time that you figured out that arguing a position makes you a spokesman for it. See what I had to say about Ezra Klein. You just can’t go tossing a complete lying asshole for the left into the mix and not be tagged a leftist. It works that way for some odd reason. Your associations say as much or more about you than how you self-identify, and someone your age knows that already. So, turn off the the self-righteous indignation and dissembling bullshit already.

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  36. CM

    SO yet again you make no sense. Suggesting that Ryan might not be good for Romney’s chance of winning isn’t even remotely a partisan position, let alone an ideological one. Perhaps you need to stop viewing everything in such simplistic terms.
    As for Klein, I’ll keep an eye out for a time you’re able to provide anything of substance. Clearly you’re point-blank refusing to do it this time (which makes all the rage and spittle painfully hollow).

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  37. Poosh

    SO yet again you make no sense. Suggesting that Ryan might not be good for Romney’s chance of winning isn’t even remotely a partisan position, let alone an ideological one. Perhaps you need to stop viewing everything in such simplistic terms.

    Peddling the lie that it’s “risky” because … aw I was gonna type but the realisation of the futility crept in. So no Thunderdome for me.

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  38. Seattle Outcast

    Clearly you’re point-blank refusing to do it this time (which makes all the rage and spittle painfully hollow).

    And clearly you think that my spending several hours researching Klein means I’ve made a bibliography of him for your your own research, also, you still think that this is some sort of high school debating society, when it has been made painfully obvious several times that it isn’t any such thing.

    You might want to start your searches of Klein using less than flattering or neutral terms and see where that leads you. “Ezra Klein is a lying asshole” should give you a whole host of new articles to read that you’ve apparently never come across before. At the very least you should come away with the knowledge, that like Rachel Maddow, his word isn’t valued outside of a very small group of people and you’ll need to do better than that if you want to be taken seriously.

    And you need to consider that most things in life can easily be broken down into simplistic terms. People aren’t that complicated, and their situations are generally far from unique. Adding layers of nuance to people is generally a waste of time and an indication that your education exceeds your ability to use it. Nuanced, sophisticated worldviews belong in fiction, rarely in real life.

    Finally, you keep getting upset that people pigeonhole you and your opinions. Consider that you do their work for them. You routinely argue the far left of any position, defend Obama past the point of reason on all positions and topics, quote far left talking heads constantly (and take everything they have to say at face value), and then demand that opposing viewpoints debate you in order for them to be taken seriously by you (as if your opinion held any meaning to them). At what point was anyone supposed to stand back and go “hey, he’s just being neutral, it’s up to us to defend our opposing viewpoints”?

    This would be the same thing as me going over to Daily Kos to do nothing but talk up Limbaugh, Malkin, Palin, Tea Party, Fox News, etc, and insist that I’m actually “neutral”. Furthermore, unless people engage in some “debate” of my own design and non-disclosed rules, I’ve “won” all interactions with the locals.

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  39. repmom

    SO –

    How about listing the specific things in Klein’s article that you disagree with, instead of the half dozen rants on the man himself?

    Seems to me that’s what CM keeps requesting. Correct me if I’m wrong on that, CM, and I’ll butt out of the “quarrel”.

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  40. satch

    Hello chaps. Long time since i posted here.

    I like the pick for a number of reasons. The guy is a solid conservative and this is what i look for. He is also quite intelligent and well spoken and extremely well versed in the whole entitlement reform issue. This is great for us right leaning people. Yet the number one reason you should know he is a great choice is by following a simple rule I heard nearly twenty years ago from Limbaugh. Any time the left starts issuing dire warnings about voter outrage at Republican choices you know you did the right thing. Judging from what I saw of that nutter Shultz(not to be confused with Drooling Dutch Shultz at pmsnbc) on Fox Sunday yesterday morning, Romney made a very good choice.

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  41. CM

    That’s right repmom. Klein’s piece I linked to and quoted from is his opinion. Nobody is pretending it isn’t. It’s not fact. What is the problem of looking at a wider range of views and discussing the merits and lack-thereof of each? Who cares who makes the argument? What difference does it make? The argument either stands or falls on its merits. Pretend the argument came from God if it means you’ll be able to actually consider it as opposed to obsess over where it comes from.
    Seattle Outcast, what do you get out of this place? Seriously. If no opposing viewpoints are even permitted, to the point where it offends and pains you considerably, what on earth is the attraction? I’d be really interested to know. Because yet again I’ve said nothing offensive in this thread (against anyone here, or Ryan, or conservatives, or liberatarians) and yet you jump right into personal attack mode.

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  42. Seattle Outcast

    You actually think CM is being “reasonable’…? That’s cute. Naive as all hell, but cute. CM’s particular brand of trolling is quite well established, unoriginal, and he’s never once deviated from it. All you need is a sucker to play the game while he continually adds “just one more reasonable thing” to the list of items you are there to “discuss” or refute.

    All he has to do is start with a well-established divisive and polarizing figure, position or opinion and act as if there isn’t any controversy about it all. Klein, in this case, is the bait, but most times he tosses in several, just in case you missed some. CM then takes the position of “poor misunderstood me” when someone points out that his data is, as best, seriously compromised as the source has all the integrity of Richard Nixon talking about Watergate.

    Klein is ungodly easy to dismiss, doing searches on him literally brings up dozens of dissections of everything he’s ever written (including the raw text), and with extremely few exceptions (Rachel Maddow, for example), he is horribly savaged for being an unabashed liar (evidence is provided in buckets), plagiarism, playing fast and loose with the constitution(by both Dems and the GOP), pulling numbers out of his ass, easily debunked claims of neutrality, and generally running wild with crackpot ideas that involve disenfranchising the baby boomer generation so his peers can run the world.

    Here’s the thing: CM already knows all this. It only takes a short amount of time researching it to find all that and more, and CM spends way too much time online looking for suckers to “debate” for this to have escaped his notice. The whole POINT of using Klein as a source was to try and lure somebody in to “reasonably discuss” any “small errors” on Klein’s part while using that as a springboard to advance his far-left causes while using the bulk of Klein’s arguments (self-serving opinion) as unchallenged fact.

    There is nothing to “discuss” – Klein’s reputation as a liar isn’t even a matter of debate any more. Only a complete fraud like CM will even pretend otherwise. This is why CM garners so many “thumbs down” every time he posts – every post is a troll.

    Hot! Thumb up 5

  43. Poosh

    Get off your soap box CM. You’ve infuriated legions here because of your inability to grasp reason. Let’s not pretend people are “opposed to different viewpoints” or “not open to debate” or whatever. People just can’t be bothered to argue with you because your dumb dumbs. Not because you’re misunderstood, or they’re unopen to debate or you know, I’m tiring myself typing so I’m gonna drift off here … I didn’t read anything you wrote above because I skip what you read, because you never write anything intelligent, but if you’ve pissed off people you can bet it’s because A) they “know” you, and B) what you wrote. i.e your snide remarks pretending you’re actually trying to be “reasonable”.

    I mean, am I right in saying CM is someone who defended Michael Moore? I did not look at the comments on that blog, so i wouldn’t know.

    Thumb up 2

  44. Kimpost

    I mean, am I right in saying CM is someone who defended Michael Moore? I did not look at the comments on that blog, so i wouldn’t know.

    You’d be hard pressed to find CM commenting in the blog section at all. Like most of us who have made it here, he was active in the forums.

    And the Michael Moore part of the forums was mostly dead. None of us really cared for the guy. Especially so in later years when he became irrelevant.

    Thumb up 2

  45. Section8

    Which polls are you looking at?
    Nate Silver and RealClear Politics polls (and averaging) have all been heading for an Obama win for a while

    Obama has had a higher than average negative rating for quite some time. He’s not a blowout by any means on approval ratings. Many polls have shown this, some people have posted them here, but I suppose you’ve chosen to ignore these as irrelevant. As of now, he’s not a solid front runner. We haven’t hit the debates yet. I guess this would be more obvious to someone who actually lives here.

    A variety of think tanks and analysts have pegged the cost of repairing and upgrading our transportation networks at somewhere between $200 billion and $262 billion per year over the next decade. The White House’s budget envisions spending an average of about $104 billion per year over that time. Ryan’s budget, meanwhile, allocates $78 billion per year.

    More from the article.

    Ryan claims he can meet the country’s needs by cutting back on “imprudent, irresponsible, and downright wasteful spending,” though it’s not clear what waste Ryan has in mind, much less whether it would make up the gap.

    Maybe it’s not clear because government departments resist audits (I wonder why?), but it’s clear they don’t spend efficiently. Again, people who live here, and actually have to pay the taxes are aware of this. A change of leadership from left wing democrats and democrat lite republicans to real fiscal conservatives would be nice as perhaps we could finally work at fixing broken and wasteful spending systems rather than throw more money at it. Once again CM this is a variable the left never care to discuss, nor was it even a factor for you. Like I said, budget reductions and still getting your money’s worth is crazy talk to you guys and beyond comprehension. Thanks for demonstrating my point yet again.

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  46. ilovecress

    ‘Extreme’ is relative. So I can see how it’s seen as an attack from CM. However, isn’t an extreme solution the very thing that you’ve been arguing for? Trimming spending isn’t what the Tea Party has been clamouring for – it’s slashing spending.

    So I don’t think it can be denied that the budget is the most extreme budget that’s been put out there S8. It’s the wrong argument to have. The issue is whether an extreme budget solution is what’s needed. In fact, that’s not even it. The issue is whether an extreme budget solution is what voters want to vote for. If you think it is, then Ryan should be wearing the extreme badge with pride – if Obama is so wrong, then let’s go completely the other direction.

    And that’s the gamble.

    The thing is ‘extreme’ is now a loaded word, (when was the last time you heard it in a positive context?) that the Dems will pound the Romney campaign with for the next three months. The Romney campaign could try and reclaim the word, and spin it against Obama – “Maybe my plan is extreme. If you take fiscal irresponsibility as your starting point then it probably looks that way. As a business man, to me the Ryan budget looks sensible, rational and logical. But then again, I’m not a tax and spend democrat who thinks that throwing money at a problem magically fixes it, so I can see where your mistake came from.”

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  47. ilovecress
    Ryan claims he can meet the country’s needs by cutting back on “imprudent, irresponsible, and downright wasteful spending,” though it’s not clear what waste Ryan has in mind, much less whether it would make up the gap.

    Maybe it’s not clear because government departments resist audits (I wonder why?), but it’s clear they don’t spend efficiently

    But dude, that’s the point of a budget. Anyone can propose we spend less on stuff. A budget is where you set out exactly where you can spend less on stuff, and where you’re going to raise the money for the stuff you do want to spend on.

    So just saying that we’re going to waste less money is nice, and completely correct – but without saying exactly what the waste is, then it’s pretty useless.

    So without getting into defending Klein or any of that banter –

    The White House’s budget envisions spending an average of about $104 billion per year over that time. Ryan’s budget, meanwhile, allocates $78 billion per year.

    Is pretty interesting. If Ryan can demonstrate how the government is wasting $26 billion a year, we can have a really interesting debate. Without doing that, the debate has no substance.

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  48. CM

    Obama has had a higher than average negative rating for quite some time. He’s not a blowout by any means on approval ratings. Many polls have shown this, some people have posted them here, but I suppose you’ve chosen to ignore these as irrelevant. As of now, he’s not a solid front runner. We haven’t hit the debates yet. I guess this would be more obvious to someone who actually lives here.

    I can look at the polling results from here just fine.
    Currently RCP has Obama’s job approval rating at -0.4. it was -9.6% last October. Still negative, but not nearly as bad for him as it has been. The improvement trend pretty much stopped in March though, since then it’s been pretty even.
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_obama_job_approval-1044.html
    Silver had a piece a while ago (which I linked to at the time I think) which charted where job approvals were at when a President was looking for re-election. It suggests it’s not impossible, but not great.
    Obama consistently seems to beat Romney in terms of ‘favorability’. Obama has been at about +10% but Romney has been up to about -10%.
    But obviously what matters is the Electoral College Vote, and by that score Obama is doing well enough in the swing states, at the moment. Silver has the most likely result (“Electoral Vote Distribution”) being 330 ECV for Obama, 60 over what he needs. The next most likely is about 350 for Obama. He considers there to be about a 22% chance of one those happening. The third most likely outcome is about 300 for Obama, but that’s only a 3% chance. Everything else, aside from another Obama winning count, is less than 2%.
    Probably the most problematic aspect for Romney is that the polls (and Silver’s formula results) haven’t really moved much at all for a while now. Being a bit behind this far out isn’t a big deal if the polls are all over the place, like they were for the GOP candidates.
    Anyway, this is why I was curious that you said he wasn’t doing all that great. If what you mean is he’s not guaranteed victory, I would agree. But a hell of a lot has to start going Romney’s way from here.

    A change of leadership from left wing democrats and democrat lite republicans to real fiscal conservatives would be nice as perhaps we could finally work at fixing broken and wasteful spending systems rather than throw more money at it. Once again CM this is a variable the left never care to discuss, nor was it even a factor for you.

    Sorting out wasteful and broken spending systems should always be a priority. As I said earlier in this thread I’m a big advocate of full transparency and accountability in govt action (esp. spending). I won’t argue that some others don’t give a shit. But I always have.

    Cress covers some other things I would have otherwise raised.

    EDIT: Latest favorability polling comparison here. On this issue the polls have a large spread. Obama low single digits positive, Romney low single digits negative might be about all we can conclude.
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/obama_romney_favorable_unfavorable.html

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  49. repmom

    At the risk of being “naive” –

    Still seems to me, SO, that you could have dissected Klein’s opinion piece point by point, showing how he is a “stupid, lying, idiot liberal”. Even if it had been a waste for CM, others reading might have benefitted from it.. I have noticed that there are always several “guests”. But then, maybe I am being naive thinking your purpose is to inform. Perhaps your purpose is simply to entertain the troops and get “thumbs up” for smacking down the liberal.

    Whatever. Still seems like that would have taken less time and space than your 5 comments and 70 lines of personal attacks. Repeated attacks, I might add.

    But then, that’s just my naive thinking.

    Oh…..one more thing. Take your “cute”‘ and stick it.

    Thumb up 1

  50. repmom

    Oh, one more thing I forgot to say, SO.

    The fact that you continue to refuse to refute Klein’s points makes me think you can’t. Guess that’s naive me.

    Thumb up 3

  51. Section8

    Is pretty interesting. If Ryan can demonstrate how the government is wasting $26 billion a year, we can have a really interesting debate. Without doing that, the debate has no substance.

    Fair enough,

    Here are some examples

    http://www.downsizinggovernment.org/transportation/spending-cuts/

    One of the biggest wastes in my opinion is the rail system for people travel, and while I do travel Amtrak for fear of flying, it is a bloated system and expanding to high speed rail just isn’t going to work here. People simply fly. It’s just as cheap to travel across country and can be done in hours, not days. If travel by rail should still exist it can be done through private companies, as it was done in the past. On my travels on rail I’ve talked with old timers on the train that thought the service was better when it was private. Systems like metro rails can be done at the local level. The federal government does not have to get involved in matters that should be left to state and local decisions. Unfortunately federal involvement and all the strings attached has gotten to the point where it’s inconceivable for many to think we can have a world without the federal government dictating all of the individual states affairs. This may not matter to leftists, or some overseas observers, but it matters to us. As far as I’m concerned, we’re the people who count on this matter. The reward for this growing this bloated mess has been constant pleas for more money and poor results for the ever expanding budget. That goes for more than just transportation, it can apply to most federal departments and programs.

    I’d defy anyone so show me a department that’s ok with the money they get. You could give them every dollar in existence and it still wouldn’t be enough. That’s the beauty of it though isn’t it? Inefficiency can just be translated into you didn’t give us enough, and you must hate your kids, wife, neighbor, whatever guilt argument out there if you won’t give more. Even asking why one should give more and how that money is spent will cause outrage from the progressive wing, and the fear and emotion response will always be the final argument.

    Progressives believe every step forward is a good one, even the step that will take you over a cliff. That’s a problem in my opinion.

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  52. Seattle Outcast

    I’m going to speak as a professional statistician for a moment and make this plain: Obama’s numbers are in the shitter, and getting worse with each passing day. And I mean his real numbers, not the made-up BS that MSNBC or CNN trots out every couple days that oversamples democrats and non-voters by massive margins, I mean the real ones that show he’s likely going to lose big come November.

    Jimmy Carter might well come out on national TV and advise Obama to eat a bullet out pure shame. Obama isn’t just losing this election, in a very real way he’s already lost. The Oval Office is in panic mode, Obama has crapped his pants so many times in the last few weeks that all he owns are brown suits. None of his strategies are sticking, and all the white people have written him off already. Romney will need to perform human sacrifice on national television and swallow a live baby whole to lose at this point. Even the press has abandoned Obama for the most part. This may not come across to you over in NZ or or the rest of the world, but Obama’s desperation is fucking palpable over here.

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  53. ilovecress

    SO -totally serious here, but what are the real numbers youre referring to here? If the press has abandoned him then surely we’d hear about it?

    Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a lot closer than most liberals are thinking, but I hadn’t seen any evidence of him losing by much, let alone badly. My concern is with supporter turnout…

    Be interesting to hear thodugh

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  54. Mississippi Yankee

    Obama’s numbers are in the shitter, and getting worse with each passing day. And I mean his real numbers, not the made-up BS that MSNBC or CNN trots out every couple days that oversamples democrats and non-voters by massive margins, I mean the real ones that show he’s likely going to lose big come November.

    Now I’m not one that puts ANY stock in political polls and as I’ve mentioned here before I’ll lie to any poll taker simply for inconveniencing me. Period.

    But this woman uses some pretty large figures that makes SO point quite convincingly. And sure you can question her numbers but by how much? There are several pictures of the huge crowds R&R drew this week. I’d post them but I don’t know how, plus you’ve probably already seen them.
    Further more, unless you claim that they are photo-shopped, they paint Real Clear (pun intended) picture of the “BS that MSNBC or CNN trots out every couple days “.

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  55. CM

    Someone like Nate Silver has a significant reputation in doing deep analysis (to the point where he allows for the sort of bias that you mention). Why would he be so wrong this time? How would all the polls (collated at RCP for example, which cover a wide range) be so wrong? SO, what specialist knowledge or ability do you have that puts you ahead of other professionals?
    Where do we go for the ‘real’ numbers?
    I’m not suggesting Obama is looking ok because of a personal politcial position, it’s what I see. But if there’s another, better, place I should be looking, I’d really like to.

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  56. Poosh

    repmom, it’s a case of time-management.

    Why should anyone take them time to debunk a Michael Moore link used in evience on this blog, for example. It’s not the case of “oh, you can’t disprove his facts” but rather “I know he’s a liar, so why waste my time? Find a good source instead). There are plenty of occasions, which if you look over the history of this blog, where people did bother to point out problems with CM’s sources and explain WHY no one bothers to read his sources (time management) – CM doesn’t listen and doesn’t care, and people just realise it’s a waste of time. In some cases it even goes as far as him throwing out sources which he clearly hasn’t read but merely pasted them) You could go through the whole pathetic motion of arguing with him or you could just walk away and lose less hair. I only recently realised this so I’m in no position to claim any higher ground, I thought as you did a while back. But I’m sure you can go through the last 5 years or whatever and see the pattern. I only recently caught up, before I use to actually bother to argue but nothing sunk in. It’s better to just let him imagine “he’s right” that engage in an “intelligent” debate and it just wastes endless time. I got tired of writing things, and seeing him clearly and willfully not understand a word I wrote so I gave up – and people warned before not to reply to CM’s trolling – but I didn’t listen to ‘em and learnt the hard way.

    Repmom, would you continue to argue or trust the sources of someone who continued to misread and misinterpret, and outright not understand your own words? There’s only so many times you can write “that’s not what I wrote”, “that’s not what she wrote” “you don’t seem to understand what I wrote”. Wouldn’t their come a point where you’d go “I can’t be bothered with this”?

    That being said it took me ages to realise this. So I’m not in any position to lecture, really.

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  57. Poosh

    You’d be hard pressed to find CM commenting in the blog section at all. Like most of us who have made it here, he was active in the forums.

    I wasn’t aware there were forums. Danker for the answer.

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  58. Seattle Outcast

    Nate Silver’s hallowed reputation appears to be amongst all things NYC and baseball, which is apparently where he should stay. NY politics is generally at odds with the rest of reality, and a chimp could have told you that Obama was going to win the last election.

    Trotting him out to say that Obama is a sure thing for this election is either an act of pure desperation or of a true believer (which for CM is likely a combination of both). Once again, CM, your status as “not one of us” comes through with all the subtly of a nuke going off in the living room. You don’t “get” American politics or culture worth a shit and are the perpetual outsider looking in. You will not ever be mistaken for “one of us”, which I suspect drives you crazy as you try so hard at it.

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  59. Xetrov

    I’m all for being excited about the Ryan pick, but I also try to be realistic.

    There are several pictures of the huge crowds R&R drew this week.

    McCain/Palin pulled 15,000+ people out to see them in Va. shortly after he picked her. We don’t vote in crowds.

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  60. Xetrov

    But if there’s another, better, place I should be looking, I’d really like to.

    No clue if you would consider it “better” but Rasmussen has Romney at 47%, Obama 43% in its daily tracking poll. More interesting to me out of Rasmussen is the fact that Obama has an approval index (those who think he’s doing a good job, vs those who think he’s doing a bad job) of -19. In 2004 before the election, Bush had an approval index of 3 (within the margin of error), and many on the left hailed it as proof he would never be re-elected. Interestingly but besides the point – when Bush left office, he had an approval index of -30.

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  61. CM

    Poosh says: Why should anyone take them time to debunk a Michael Moore link used in……

    etc etc

    Wow, you really are a big stinking shameless liar aren’t you. Where was my Michael Moore link?

    I mean, am I right in saying CM is someone who defended Michael Moore? I did not look at the comments on that blog, so i wouldn’t know.

    That sums up your credibility. Why you’d even bother saying that is bewildering. You might as well have just stated “Bear in mind that I do constantly make shit up to support my opinions”.

    It’s not the case of “oh, you can’t disprove his facts” but rather “I know he’s a liar, so why waste my time? Find a good source instead).

    It’s AN OPINION. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHERE IT COMES FROM.
    Can you not tell the difference between a fact (which can be supported by a source if challenged) and an opinion? Nevertheless, if I’m going to put forward an argument/opinion, and it’s not mine (or someone says it better than me, assuming I share the opinion/argument), then I should quote and link appropriately. That’s just standard practice. That you don’t agree with the argument/opinion is irrelevant.
    We’ve been through this before. How the hell do you not understand this? It’s not difficult, at all.

    In some cases it even goes as far as him throwing out sources which he clearly hasn’t read but merely pasted them

    Where? If you’re going to make specific allegations please front up with hard evidence. If you can’t, then please don’t make the allegation.

    Repmom, would you continue to argue or trust the sources of someone who continued to misread and misinterpret, and outright not understand your own words?

    I didn’t understand what repmom was suggesting when she said:

    The commenters on your first link aren’t happy. According to some, it’s quite the doomsday in the making.

    So I asked. That’s what normal people do. I didn’t go out of my way to misread or misinterpret and “outright not understand” her words. I requested clarification. That’s what I always try to do. Again, if you’re going to make allegations (that is contrary to evidence in this very thread) then please at least provide an example or two.

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  62. CM

    Nate Silver’s hallowed reputation appears to be amongst all things NYC and baseball, which is apparently where he should stay. NY politics is generally at odds with the rest of reality, and a chimp could have told you that Obama was going to win the last election.

    Now you’re just doing the same thing again. You obviously don’t accept Silver analysis but you’ve provided no indication at all as to why. It’s close to meaningless if you don’t provide some rationale.

    Trotting him out to say that Obama is a sure thing for this election is either an act of pure desperation or of a true believer (which for CM is likely a combination of both).

    Trotting him out? How exactly did I “trot him out”? You mean I referred to him and his analysis as an example? How is “trotting him out” worse than providing no examples or substance whatsoever (i.e. your approach)? Why/how is Silver so bad and inaccurate?
    And where did I even remotely suggest that Obama was a “sure thing”? I don’t think anything of the sort. But then you know that full well. It’s all written down and you’ve read it. I think you need to have a lie down.

    Once again, CM, your status as “not one of us” comes through with all the subtly of a nuke going off in the living room. You don’t “get” American politics or culture worth a shit and are the perpetual outsider looking in. You will not ever be mistaken for “one of us”, which I suspect drives you crazy as you try so hard at it.

    Yikes. I’m not even going to touch that garbage.

    No clue if you would consider it “better” but Rasmussen has Romney at 47%, Obama 43% in its daily tracking poll. More interesting to me out of Rasmussen is the fact that Obama has an approval index (those who think he’s doing a good job, vs those who think he’s doing a bad job) of -19. In 2004 before the election, Bush had an approval index of 3 (within the margin of error), and many on the left hailed it as proof he would never be re-elected. Interestingly but besides the point – when Bush left office, he had an approval index of -30.

    Thanks Xetrov. I know Rasmussen are known to have a Republican bias.

    The 105 polls released in Senate and gubernatorial races by Rasmussen Reports and its subsidiary, Pulse Opinion Research, missed the final margin between the candidates by 5.8 points, a considerably higher figure than that achieved by most other pollsters. Some 13 of its polls missed by 10 or more points, including one in the Hawaii Senate race that missed the final margin between the candidates by 40 points, the largest error ever recorded in a general election in FiveThirtyEight’s database, which includes all polls conducted since 1998.

    Moreover, Rasmussen’s polls were quite biased, overestimating the standing of the Republican candidate by almost 4 points on average. In just 12 cases, Rasmussen’s polls overestimated the margin for the Democrat by 3 or more points. But it did so for the Republican candidate in 55 cases — that is, in more than half of the polls that it issued.

    But then that’s the benefit of having an overall analysis of polling (RCP) or an overall analysis which includes polling but also adds other factors (Silver). That’s why I prefer to go to those places. Outlier and/or known biases (whatever they may be) are accounted for. I’ve lost of the number of times Silver says not to put much stock into a specific poll result. He’s very clear when he doesn’t think there is sufficient evidence to tell us anything.

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  63. ilovecress

    SO – as a statistician – which numbers are you referring to? Which numbers are the real numbers? Ramussen has been cited (especially the post Ryan ones) a couple of times, and mainly shows that Obama isn’t doing as well as people generally believe (something that i personally think is true) but doesn’t spin the narrative that Romney has this in the bag.

    You’re 100% accurate in saying that this doesn’t filter over to Aus/NZ – but what that means is that as a freelancer that gets to pitch stories to news organisations and get paid for it – that’s a pretty good scoop there, which could make me a bit of money – so I’m actually quite keen. (MY apologies – your link didn’t work for me, but I think it’s my computer rather than your link)

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  64. Mississippi Yankee

    Xetrov

    McCain/Palin pulled 15,000+ people out to see them in Va. shortly after he picked her. We don’t vote in crowds.

    And McCain/Palin were ahead in all the polls right up until Sept 18th when the DOW was sold short to the tune of $55 Billion.

    But then again my opinion is that this race will be for ‘all the marbles’, therefor much, much more dirty. Even 3rd World-ish

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