September 11, 2008

Can Obama count on a big turnout of youth voters to give him the winning edge? I think not.

And I'll tell you exactly why. But first, look at this Slate article on the "youth vote." ("Youth vote" is a silly and inapt term, and Slate appropriately puts it in quotes. You have to be 18 to vote, and the demographic group in question may be young as adults go, but they aren't "youths.")
On Election Day 2004, kids turned out in record numbers: About 4.6 million more people under the age of 29 voted in 2004 than in 2000. Yet 18- to 29-year-olds accounted for only 17 percent of voters—roughly the same as in 2000—because the geezer vote also grew. As a result, youth mobilization was declared a myth, perhaps unjustifiably. "We rocked the vote all right," Hunter S. Thompson said at the time. "Those little bastards betrayed us again."

Of course, organizers are saying this year could be different....

Primary bump: Youth turnout in the primaries saw a huge jump over previous years....

The '06 wave: Speculators wouldn't be so optimistic if it weren't for the Phish-like levels of participation in the midterm elections....
Phish-like levels, from '06? Doesn't that stink by now, even if wrapped in newspaper?
... Students for Obama has organized more than 700 chapters, the campaign says. Groups like Rock the Vote and Campus Progress are also registering voters on campuses....

[We now have a lot of] e-mail, text messages, RSS feeds, tweets, and social networking....

... But in a poll conducted in February by Rock the Vote and the Tarrance Group, 82 percent of voters under 29 said they were likely to vote in November, including 62 percent who called it "extremely likely."
But who knows? Who knows is Slate's bottom line.

Now, what I want to talk about is mass psychology. My theory is that Obama's popularity took off among young people because he hit a tipping point where his very popularity generated extreme popularity. Once it seemed that loving Obama was the thing that was happening, people wanted to be part of what was happening. There was that inspiring "Yes We Can" period last February. Bonding took place. If that feeling persists, perhaps it propels young people to the polls.

But that feeling has dissipated. Obama is no longer the improbable, fascinating newcomer who rises up to conquer the indomitable overlady. He's the familiar, good but flawed politician who found a path to the nomination and is having trouble holding onto what was once a nice lead in the polls. He was so different, he was magnetizing everyone, radiating an exciting aura. Those crowds of young people wanted to be in on that, part of that.

And now there's another newcomer who is fascinating people too, and even if she's fascinating different people, it dims Obama's power to fascinate or it dims the significance of fascination to those who were once fascinated. Fascination itself has lost its aura now that those people -- those uncool people -- are fascinated by Sarah Palin.

So it starts to feel like just another presidential campaign. The reason to vote for Obama becomes not much more than the idea that the Democrats supposedly have better policies than the Republicans. What's the thrill of that? Where's the "Yes We Can" vibe when it's only a politician trying to get elected? What's the big deal about being part of that? The throng disperses.

I predict that unless Obama is already on track to win by a good margin, the young voters won't turn out in droves. That is, they'll be psyched about voting if they think he's a big winner. But if it looks like he's going to lose, there won't be that extra boost of young voters to put him over the edge. They will slip back into their traditional political lukewarmth.

184 comments:

Expat(ish) said...

Shoot, if Cindy McCain donated 100K cases of bud in 'zona, they'd get approximately 50 kids voting.

Assuming only the usual minor voter fraud in pre-registration (cough ACORN cough).

"Most days, nothing new happens" so if you want to predict "yoot" turnout, look at what happened before.

-XC

D said...

I concur. My oldest son - a college student - was a BIG Obama supporter early-on and he was obviously caught-up in the popularity vibe.

Now, while he still supports Obama, you can see a little less luster in his eyes and more cynicism about the whole process. He just knew this time was going to be different from 2004 and 2000 simply because The One was involved.

It's not and he knows it now.

Reality is sinking in.

Oh, he will probably vote, but mostly because his mother and I, both McCain-Palin supporters, will encourage him to do so because it is his responsibility as a citizen.

I'll share a secret here . . . if it were up to me I would turn-off his alarm clock and let him sleep through election day. It's his mom that wants him to be responsible. I just want McCain to win.

John Lynch said...

(nto John Lynch)

The reason to vote for Obama becomes not much more than the idea that the Democrats supposedly have better policies than the Republicans

I'm not sure that most of the "in-crowd" ever believed that to begin with, or even examined the idea.

As much sturm and drang as there is, and great entertainment it has been and will continue to be -- there has been an asked and answered on issues (taxation, national security, economic approach, healthcare/health insurance, etc.)

People are now getting to the "decider" part of the campaign, not the ephemeral "could be."

Meade said...

Over the edge? Don't you mean over the top?

He's already started to lose his edge. His cool too. He's getting edgy, about to blow his top.

The kids won't like that. The ones I talk to are already getting bored. Of all the sins, to "youth," boredom is the deadliest.

rhhardin said...

I'd advise youth to skip voting and take up a life of crime.

John Lynch said...

(nto John Lynch)

BTW, that week is mid-terms in most colleges.

Mark Daniels said...

To win, Obama has become increasingly like a conventional pol--a grown-up. That, I think, will mean that the youth vote will be no greater a factor this election than in the past.

Ron said...

If they had only counted 'tweets' in the 19th century, Audubon would have been President...

L. E. Lee said...

Sorry about the off topic question Ann but I have never seen a post from you about an economic issue? Clearly the big serious issue that is facing this country right now is the fact that we are getting pulled further into an economic crisis. Is there a chance this might play a role in the November election? I employ a fair number of young people and the languishing job market troubles them. I think this will affect their desire to vote and for whom to vote for. (I guess this post got back on topic after all.)

f said...

I remember in 2004 everyone thought the polls were off because "young people only have cell phones and so can't take part in polls. but all young people vote democrat, so the non-polled young people will put us over the top." It's all bs, of course. I only had a cell phone and I voted for Bush. On top of that, I think the vast majority of those under 25 can't be bothered to get out of bed, let alone vote.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The reason to vote for Obama becomes not much more than the idea that the Democrats supposedly have better policies than the Republicans

In the age of helicopter parents and living at home till you're 30, voting for a candidate that will do things for you this doesn't come as much of a surprise. Free health care and college sounds great until you see the chunk it takes out of your paycheck.

I used to be a Democrat up until I realized that they care more about creating a dependent voting bloc rather than actually helping one become self sufficient.

Sloanasaurus said...

The youth vote always peters out in the end. Moreover, now that Palin is in the race, the excitement in the youth vote may cancel itself out. Young people don't know or care much about policy, because it doesn't affect them - they vote more on personality.

People should be weary about the cell phone thing too. In 2006, I thought the polls were wrong because so many suburban Americans used caller ID to screen their calls and would not answer polls. The same is being said today about young people who have cell phones and can't be reached. Maybe these two things will cancel themselves out as they problably did in 2006. (I still don't answer calls at night if it isn't someone I know).

Seven Machos said...

Tremendous analysis, Althouse.

L.E.: All of Obama's wealth redistribution schemes and tax increases will no doubt encourage entrepreneurs and corporations to hire "young people" by flocks and droves.

George said...

I have a Grateful Dead sticker and a McCain sticker on my bumper.

I'm getting the message out....

Seven Machos said...

I am certainly weary about the cell phone thing. ;]

Hoosier Daddy said...

Clearly the big serious issue that is facing this country right now is the fact that we are getting pulled further into an economic crisis.

Tuesday's WSJ just had an article that 2rd quarter GDP growth was at 3.3%. Seems to me I have been hearing about the impending economic crisis for the last 7 years and if I just wait a bit longer....

PatCA said...

I have to agree with Ann. The excitement has waned and their real lives have intruded once more. Young people have a low threshold for disappointment - they think this guy is better than their parents, better than all the old politicians, and he is revealed to be all too human.

They have no stake yet in the future. Wait till they have kids and a 401k, then they'll vote.

Seven Machos said...

The homeless problem has grown massively in the last eight years, too.

Lawgiver said...

But if it looks like he's going to lose, there won't be that extra boost of young voters to put him over the edge.

I agree with you Ann. d's comment parallels my own experience. My youngest, a 23 year old college student tells me, "Oh yeah Dad, I'm gonna vote for Obama." I'll believe it when I see it. He can never find the time to register to vote, has never voted in any election and with Obama slipping in the polls I can see him telling himself his vote won't matter anyway.

Methadras said...

The bottom line is that youth 'enthusiasm' is just as prevalent to the voting booth as it is in their regular lives. Younger voting age kids are still generally lazy and will meander around voting day even realizing that in their already jaded and cynical minds, their votes don't count. As stupid as a sentiment like that is, to them being in the moment is more important than the long term implications of hanging around an entire election cycle to go to a booth and have the anti-climactic act of punching a ticket for issues and people they don't even know.

carly said...

No one can be sure just how many young people actually ARE Obama supporters because his rabidly intolerant young followers try to intimidate anyone who dares not support him, into silence. Just have a look at some Facebook pages with pre-emptive pronouncements like this: "yes, i take it personally when people talk shit about obama."

Very few of us who don't support/plan to vote for Obama make our views/plans public. Who wants to fight all the time? Who wants to be scolded and/or accused of being stupid/ignorant/vile?

So I think even if "we" all get out and vote, it may not help Obama as much as everyone thinks.

goesh said...

A couple of months ago, my 17 yr. old granddaughter thought Obama was a saviour. I took her to McDonalds last week and now she thinks he does not have America's best interests at heart. Fickle, fickle, sour's the pickle - come a new gadget or a big sale and many will simply forget to vote...

Pogo said...

Good analysis, Althouse.

In this election, and in all future elections until around 2030 or so, the massive older voting block will drive everything.

They seem to want to be taken care of, and the Democrats have that to give, so I'm guessing that -barring some coservative reawakening- we go the European welfare route, until we go broke like the Europeans.

But I wonder how Ma and Pa Kettle (and Grandma) feel about McCain being derided for being so friggin' old.

Awkward.

Freeman Hunt said...

I think this analysis is right on. Voting Obama was seen as "the thing," like going to a must-see concert. It's not "the thing" anymore; it's just regular, old voting.

Brent said...

I used to be a Democrat up until I realized that they care more about creating a dependent voting bloc rather than actually helping one become self sufficient.

Same here.


CBS with Katie Couric on Tuesday had a "Where They Stand" segment comparing the tax plans of McCain and Obama and showing their effect on 3 couples making, in order, $32,000 (+ 1 child), $64,000 (+ 2 children), and $213,000 (+ 3 children). Of course Obama's promises added $2,200 (trough rebates) to the family making $32,000, even thought they don't pay any Federal income tax.

They didn't bother to show what even liberal economists are saying about the Obama plan - that it can't be paid for.

To be fair, a lot of economists have trouble with McCain's tax cut promises being fully paid for, but those same economists have way more problems with Obama's plan.

Why wasn't that included in the CBS News segment that seemed to make Obama look really sympathetic "to the plight of hurting Americans"?

Harwood said...

Ann: And now there's another newcomer who is fascinating people too, and even if she's fascinating different people, it dims Obama's power to fascinate or it dims the significance of fascination to those who were once fascinated. Fascination itself has lost its aura now that those people -- those uncool people -- are fascinated by Sarah Palin.

--------------

I'm not sure you can capture both responses with the same word, fascination. The initial youth response to Obama was fascination -- with something new, cool, exciting, different.

But the broad response to Palin springs from deeper wells. Mature people feel betrayed by their elected leaders, a feeling that has been building for at least a decade. They see serious values in jeopardy, and they see Sarah Palin as someone who just might be able to restore some of those values.

That isn't fascination.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'm guessing that -barring some coservative reawakening- we go the European welfare route, until we go broke like the Europeans.

Well to be fair Pogo, we are broke. SSN and Medicare are liabilties that are not counted toward the Federal debt which is around $10 trillion at the moment. Toss SSN and Medicare in the bowl and now you're in the ballpark of $40 trillion.

The reason that SSN and Medicare aren't counted is because they're not guaranteed which means Congress can cut them off tomorrow.

The thing that neither candidate is talking about is how they plan on reducing the debt. McCain talks of tax breaks for everyone while Bambi promises tax breaks for 95% of everyone plus more candy from the goodie bag.

Zeb Quinn said...

You are right about youthful voters, a demonstrably unreliable voting bloc. But Obama is counting on another bloc turning out in record numbers: black voters. What're the prospects there? What difference can that bloc make?

garage mahal said...

Interesting matchup beween Obama's ground game on GOTV, and Republicans ground game on voter suppression. Here is one less than ethical way of accomplishing that.

"The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election Day".

Seven Machos said...

To carry this metaphor further, Obama is like a fabulous new indie-rock band. Man, you gotta hear this. This is awesome. Groundbreaking. And it is. It's good stuff.

However, the band's next album is more mainstream. The record company got involved. It's alright, man. But they're obviously trying to appeal to the masses. It's not the same. I guess maybe I'll still download it.

former law student said...

First, as the article points out, the 18-29 year old block is not numerous enough to decide the election. The baby boomer block still controls numerically, as it moves from birth to death like a pig through a python.

That is, they'll be psyched about voting if they think he's a big winner. But if it looks like he's going to lose, there won't be that extra boost of young voters to put him over the edge

The first statement sounds true -- we all like to go with the big winner. I have my doubts about the second statement, however.

Ball games are most exciting when they are close and they can go either way. When one side piles up a big lead early on, and the other side doesn't seem to have a chance, people get bored and head for the exits.

The problem with national elections is that it's easy to tell yourself, "Why vote? One vote isn't going to make a difference."

But here, if the race remains close, young people are more likely to believe that their vote might be the one that decides the election.

Technology makes it easy to remind people to go vote. The cell phone set don't decide where they're going next until the last minute.

Doyle said...

It's funny when old wingnuts read the minds of young Obama supporters.

molly said...

You forget that people my age care about energy and the war more than pretty much anything else. Two months before the election, I get at least one text message from Obama a week. We came of political age watching Bush shit all over our country. We lost in 2004. This is our first chance to cast a vote that might actually win. And Generation Q or whatever middle-aged journalists are currently calling us aren't really as ironical as everyone thinks. So -- we'll see!

Seven Machos said...

It's even funnier when Doyle comes around and beclowns himself.

Can your shrillness top your fellow loons, Doyle? I know you'll try.

Seven Machos said...

I get at least one text message from Obama a week.

How very quaint that you believe that.

Pogo said...

we are broke
I agree.
But not so broke we are pushed to actually do something. Oh, we'll grab some outta the pockets of the 'rich', and we'll extend that definition to middle class folks who don't feel rich at all. Then we'll add 'fees' and 'cost sharing' and do what other nations do when they are unable to pay their bills: delay services, cut services, offer but do not actually provide services.

But that bill we will pay.
I just don't see any stomach in Americans for paying a damn thing. Hence, Democrats will win.

Freder Frederson said...

I just love how the Ann's analysis of the campaign is completely devoid of policy issues. It has degenerated to a high school level popularity contest.

And now because we have an attractive, gun toting MILF on the Republican ticket, the campaign is over.

sonicfrog said...

I concur. My oldest son - a college student - was a BIG Obama supporter early-on and he was obviously caught-up in the popularity vibe.

Now, while he still supports Obama, you can see a little less luster in his eyes and more cynicism about the whole process.


Two points.

One, The "Youth Vote" has been the holy grail for the Democratic block for the last thirty years. And in every election, save two, that block of voter has failed to materialize in any large numbers to swing an election.

Two. This Presidential campaign has been TOO DAMNED LONG!!!! Obama was great when he was the ne kid on the block. He seemed new, different, not one of the established political class. Now, after almost three years of exposure, he is no longer the fresh face, but has become just another politician.

Freder Frederson said...

But not so broke we are pushed to actually do something.

And that is exactly what is wrong with you Pogo. You really believe that by constantly cutting taxes somehow the deficit will magically disappear.

EnigmatiCore said...

I have a Grateful Dead sticker and a McCain sticker on my bumper.

On the road today, I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac. A little voice inside my head said, "Don't look back. You can never look back."

I thought I knew what love was. What did I know? Those days are gone forever. I should just let them go.

downtownlad said...

Obama will motivate the youth vote at least to the same extent as Kerry did.

Keep in mind that the current youth vote is a larger percentage of the population than last time. And old people will not vote the same as last time. After all - a lot of them died since the last election.

Don't some of the Baby boomers count as old yet?

Seven Machos said...

I imagine that Pogo believes that by cutting spending the deficit will disappear.

Peter Ryan said...

I think Ann's analysis is pretty accurate, but I'd like to add a little more insight - even though its anecdotal. My sons are college students and eligible to vote in their first presidential election. They both intend to vote for McCain, as do their most of their friends (that they know of). However, they never talk about it to people on campus because of the associated harrassment, unwanted arguments, etc. Hunter S. Thompson may have been correct: "the little b---tards will betray us again."

Randy said...

"The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election Day".

Garage calls this voter suppression. Sounds like common sense to me. The law requires voters to re-register when they move to a different location.

Pogo said...

"completely devoid of policy issues"
I'll sort it out for you

Obama: The Great Society Redux, Free stuff, like healthcare, for everyone making under $150K. No drilling, no nukes, no refineries. Pour money into energy technology. Disarm the military. Again. More money for unions.

McCain: The Great Society Redux, Free stuff, like healthcare, for everyone making under $150K. Yes to drilling, nukes, and refineries. Pour money into energy technology. Rearm the military. Again. Slightly more money for unions.

"You really believe that by constantly cutting taxes somehow the deficit will magically disappear."
7Machos got it.

former law student said...

Obama will motivate the youth vote at least to the same extent as Kerry did.

That ain't saying a whole hell of a lot. Kerry was attractive only in that he was not W.

The last Democratic candidate who appealed to youth was JFK.

Freder Frederson said...

I imagine that Pogo believes that by cutting spending the deficit will disappear.

Considering we are facing a $400 billion deficit this year and an even higher one next year, I am really curious how and where these cuts are coming from. (And let's be realistic shall we--we're not going to abandon Medicare, Medicaid and SS or cut defense spending).

Hoosier Daddy said...

I just love how the Ann's analysis of the campaign is completely devoid of policy issues. It has degenerated to a high school level popularity contest.

That's interesting Freder because that's pretty much how Obama has run his campaign from day one. Lots of flowerly rhetoric, Che like posters and rock concerts. Oh and lets tax the rich.

And now because we have an attractive, gun toting MILF on the Republican ticket, the campaign is over.

Contain your jealousy.

Trevor Jackson said...

"The law requires voters to re-register when they move to a different location."

Yes, it does, but did you read the article? Just because foreclosure proceedings have begun on your home, doesn't mean you no longer live there.

Sloanasaurus said...

Keep in mind that the current youth vote is a larger percentage of the population than last time. And old people will not vote the same as last time. After all - a lot of them died since the last election.

We can be pretty sure that there is a much bigger increase in the amount of older people than there is young people. This trend will continue for the next 30 years.

former law student said...

Yes to drilling, nukes, and refineries.

What role can the government play in drilling, nukes, and refineries? Are we going to nationalize the oil and energy companies?

If not, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. From the big NYT article on the Trans-Canada pipeline today:
...last month, the state [Alaska] sought to pull 44 of Exxon's leases at Point Thomson, arguing that the company had not moved on any of its nearly two years to develop the area, and that the last well Exxon drilled there was in the early 1980s, Mr Irwin [state gas and oil official rehired by Palin after being fired by Murkowski] said.

And who is anti-nuke? I will point out again that Senator Obama's state has six times as many nuclear power plants as Senator McCain's state, even though Arizona has significant uranium deposits and Illinois does not. If McCain is pro-nuke he's been hiding it for years.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And that is exactly what is wrong with you Pogo. You really believe that by constantly cutting taxes somehow the deficit will magically disappear.

Freder, your candidate is promising to cut taxes for 95% of the working families, give everyone $1000, $4,000 college tax credits and free health care.

Hey I have an idea, how about we cut taxes AND spending. Or do you have some problem with people who actually pay taxes keeping thier money?

Seven Machos said...

Twenty percent of the federal government could be cut off and it would affect nothing and no one except Washington DC and disgruntled federal employees who would have to find real jobs.

AllenS said...

Hi molly. AllenS here. Right Winger and all that. I'll be getting my first Social Security check the 2nd Wednesday of January. Do get a job and help pay for it, will ya? By the way, since you're going to college, you should start to think about spelling molly by using a capital M. It might look better when you apply for a job.

rhhardin said...

Keep in mind that the current youth vote is a larger percentage of the population than last time. And old people will not vote the same as last time. After all - a lot of them died since the last election.

Soon the entire population will be young Democrats.

There's also the growing up effect, where young people unaccountably become Republican.

Not out of love for Republicans, by the way.

Seven Machos said...

What role can the government play in drilling, nukes, and refineries?

Well, FLS, I see you've come full circle from last night. Good. That's a good start.

One thing the federal government can do is make these actions legal. Another thing it can do is provide an array of tax incentives at the supply and demand end.

garage mahal said...

Garage calls this voter suppression. Sounds like common sense to me. The law requires voters to re-register when they move to a different location.

Riiight. To my knowledge that house (and address) is still yours until the goddamn sherrif evicts you. And even then you can still pay up. To suggest this idea is clerical commonsense is hilarious, Randy. They want to convince you that by voting you are committing a punishable act. I.e. jail. I think that's enough for someone going through a foreclosure to say screw it.

former law student said...

allens said...

you should start to think about spelling molly by using a capital M

Huh?

Lawgiver said...

I just love how the Ann's analysis of the campaign is completely devoid of policy issues. It has degenerated to a high school level popularity contest.

As long as I can remember federal elections always degenerate into popularity contests. Why do you expect this to be any different?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Considering we are facing a $400 billion deficit this year and an even higher one next year, I am really curious how and where these cuts are coming from.

Well Freder I am very pleased to see that you have concluded that there is no wasteful or otherwise, non-essential spending of Federal tax dollars under the Bush administration.

Pogo said...

And let's be realistic shall we--we're not going to abandon Medicare, Medicaid and SS or cut defense spending

Of course not. We'll just do what other Euro-type social welfare states have done when the utopian wishing boat runs aground on the rocky shores of bankruptcy.

We will erode those welfare programs. Death by a thousand cuts. Denials of care. "You're too old." Delayed surgery. Quality declines. Strikes. Cost of living adjustments delayed. Less time with the doctor. Your prescription isn't 'covered'.

No, not abandoned so much as neglected.

Sy said...

Yes, it does, but did you read the article? Just because foreclosure proceedings have begun on your home, doesn't mean you no longer live there.

Um, there is a pretty good chance you are not living there or moving very soon.

Pogo said...

"And who is anti-nuke?"

Obama built all the Illinois nuclear power plants himself? Zounds!

No, Democrats oppose nukes. McCain will begrudgingly let new ones be built, because the times demand it. He was, I agree, opposed before. It would be a nice flip flop for him.

But as Trooper has said, Obama is bought and paid for. He'll do exactly as he's told by the Dem machine. No nukes under Obama.

Revenant said...

I'd advise youth to skip voting and take up a life of crime.

There's a fine line between criminals and Democrats. Both favor taking other people's money to buy nice things for themselves. :)

former law student said...

One thing the federal government can do is make these actions legal.

What's the point if the energy companies are not drilling on the leases they already have?

Another thing it can do is provide an array of tax incentives at the supply and demand end.

The prospect of adding to their current huge profits is insufficient to get oil companies to suck oil out of the ground to sell to us? That's like arguing the lack of a tax break kept Jack Handey's great-grandfather from running around and collecting the gold nuggets.:

The whole town laughed at my great-grandfather, just because he worked hard and saved his money. True, working at the hardware store didn't pay much, but he felt it was better than what everybody else did, which was go up to the volcano and collect the gold nuggets it shot out every day. It turned out he was right. After forty years, the volcano petered out. Everybody left town, and the hardware store went broke. Finally he decided to collect gold nuggets too, but there weren't many left by then. Plus, he broke his leg and the doctor's bills were real high.
- Jack Handey

Richard Dolan said...

Ann analyzes O's appeal to the under-30 set in turns of Team O's attaction as the latest fad -- new!, different!, exciting! The flip side of that is the herd mentality that characterizes many in that demographic, along with the social penalty one can suffer for differing from the herd on such things. The pressure to conform can be quite intense, and is so internalized that most kids don't even notice. Since a huge percentage of these younger potential voters are still in college/grad school or recently granduated, they are living in (or only recently escaped from) America's most intense political monoculture, where literally everyone (other than jocks and engineers) is expected to be a lefty Dem.

In the circumstances, it's quite an achievement for a conservative Rep to get any substantial share of the "youth" vote. It would be interesting to see that demographic broken down by income, educational level and occupational status (student vs. employed) -- i.e., whether the pro-Dem pattern holds across those variables, or is more pronounced among the student sub-class. I suspect that the monocultural nature of most colleges makes that a likely result.

Zeb Quinn said...

The last Democratic candidate who appealed to youth was JFK.

Where were you in 1972?

D said...

Doyle said:

It's funny when old wingnuts read the minds of young Obama supporters.

You think that's hard? Please, we have plenty of kids and grandkids that we know too well.

Johann said...

New voter registrations are splitting 47-44 to Obama.

That's not a good sign for him.

Revenant said...

Freder, your candidate is promising to cut taxes for 95% of the working families, give everyone $1000, $4,000 college tax credits and free health care.

I'd love to know what the hell "cut taxes for 95% of working families" means. Which taxes? Only around 50% of working families have an income tax payment to "cut" in the first place. That leaves the payroll tax, and there's no way to cut THAT without immediately bankrupting Social Security.

former law student said...

Democrats oppose nukes.

Counterpunch.org thinks Obama is a tool of the nuclear power industry.

Could Obama be standing up to members of his own party? Could Obama be (ghasp!) a maverick?

http://www.counterpunch.org/stclair07042007.html

D said...

Two. This Presidential campaign has been TOO DAMNED LONG!!!! Obama was great when he was the ne kid on the block. He seemed new, different, not one of the established political class. Now, after almost three years of exposure, he is no longer the fresh face, but has become just another politician.

Very true. And one of the reasons Sarah Palin has stolen his thunder. She is the new, fresh face and she is lucky that she only has two months to campaign.

Barry was used to being King, but the Queen just stole his throne of popularity.

Roger J. said...

I don't see any compelling evidence that most voters vote on "the issues." I suspect those that do are on the far left and far right. I think the reasons vote have far more to do with intangibles such as empathy, likeability, and yes, "willingness to have a beer with."

Lawgiver said...

No, Democrats oppose nukes.

And that really bothers me. France produces so much electricity from their nuclear power plants they EXPORT it. They are a world leader in nuclear power generation. This socialist nation has a population that is one fifth the size of ours, smaller than Texas and they have 54 nuclear power plants to our 100. France thinks it's safe, they make money off of it. It's good for France but not for us? Come on liberals, get you act together.

Pastafarian said...

Freder et al: How many times do we have to go back and rechew the same food? Every time that large tax cuts on businesses have been implemented, they've resulted in a net increase in government revenue, as the economy expands; and every time that the reverse has been tried, it's achieved the reverse result.

Consider this in microcosm: I run a machining facility (swiss screw machines -- I think that we employed rhhardin one summer). For the last ten years, our small company has paid an average of $100K per year in federal income tax.

If we had instead only paid, say, $25K per year, we could have purchased one new swiss machine every two years. We'd have earned additional income on one machine for 8 years, another for 6, and so on, and running them 3 shifts, we'd have generated so much income (profit) that today we'd be paying much, much more corporate income tax, even at this low rate (25% of the actual rate, say, to oversimplify), than we're currently paying, because we would have reinvested a large portion of this new income over the years in still more machine tools.

Even if corporate rates were 1/4 what they are now, if we'd had this money to reinvest, today we'd be paying something like $150K in federal corporate income tax, because we'd be much larger. We would have won more work that instead went to China, and we would employ dozens of additional taxpayers.

If you'd like, I could draw a diagram for you in crayon. But what's the point? Mere proof does not convince you.

Revenant said...

What's the point if the energy companies are not drilling on the leases they already have?

Whether or not oil companies drill on a particular piece of land depends on whether or not they expect the price of oil to be above the cost of extracting the oil from that land. Most of the land oil companies have access to, but aren't drilling on, is land where the cost of extraction is too high. There are many oil deposits that could be reached more cheaply, but which are located in areas where drilling is forbidden -- ANWR and along the coast of several states, for example.

The prospect of adding to their current huge profits is insufficient to get oil companies to suck oil out of the ground to sell to us?

Not if they're sucking that extra oil at a loss, obviously. Use some common sense for a moment: if oil companies can extract that oil from the land they have now and sell it at a profit, why aren't they? Do they not WANT higher profits?

Pastafarian said...

And by the way -- we're an S-corp; so our company actually pays personal income tax. That is, our company is one of those "rich people" that Obama will raise the top rate up to 50% on.

That won't hurt the economy at all, huh? We'll just all become community organizers.

Revenant said...

Could Obama be standing up to members of his own party? Could Obama be (ghasp!) a maverick?

Democrats in general have recently been turning against the nuts in the environmentalist movement. The new dogma of global warming is bumping up against the old "anything nuclear is inherently evil" dogma. Obama has made some remarks along these lines.

But if you want to say that he's "standing up" to his party, you'll have to point to the stand he's made. What's the nuclear program that he's voted for in the face of majority Democratic opposition, for example.

Sloanasaurus said...

I'd love to know what the hell "cut taxes for 95% of working families" means. Which taxes? Only around 50% of working families have an income tax payment to "cut" in the first place.

Rev is right. Obama's "tax cut" is really a welfare plan to redistribute wealth to 50% of Americans because they have no income taxes to cut. If you claim it is cutting their "payroll tax" then Social Security defaults to a welfare program for these people because they will be getting retirement checks in the future without having made any contributions.

Obama is a big time statist liberal. He wants to increase welfare and dependency on lower income Americans so they are locked into voting for democrats to get their monthly checks. Hopefully, the American people are smart enough to reject Obama's massive expansion of welfare and that they would rather keep their dignity of being working Americans rather than subjecting themselves to government dependency.

Sloanasaurus said...

We should all take time to thank President Bush and his leadership in preventing any more terrorist attacks since 9-11. It has been 7 years and there hasn't been a single attack on this country. All the conventional wisdom said there would be. All the lefties on this blog said their would be. President Bush was right with his policies.

If we would have adopted the liberal plan of going on defense rather than offense, history may have been a lot different.

former law student said...

There are many oil deposits that could be reached more cheaply, but which are located in areas where drilling is forbidden -- ANWR

It's easier to drill in forbidden ANWR. where no one has drilled before than in leased Point Thompson where drilling ceased 25 year ago? You know this for a fact?

Revenant said...

Sloan, I don't see it as a massive welfare program. I see it as shameless lying; he isn't really planning to do anything of the kind, I suspect.

former law student said...

We should all take time to thank President Roosevelt and his leadership in preventing any more terrorist attacks since Pearl Harbor. It has been only 4 years. Not only has there not been a single attack on this country, but we kicked their asses and punished their leaders.

PatCA said...

D,
Don't sacrifice the good for the perfect. Turn off that kid's alarm clock!

Yes, we are broke, and people were horrified by the recent giveaway, er, stimulus package. Once they find out that this is Obama's "tax cut" plan, they will turn on him.

No one talks politics where I work, but they just couldn't help it wen the stimulus was announced--absolute horror at the irresponsibility of it.

Seven Machos said...

FLS -- Do you really believe that oil companies are willfully not expanding production if expansion would be profitable? And further that no other companies are entering the oil market if there are profits to be made that are untapped by existing market players?

To the overwhelming majority of people who assume rational behavior, your conspiracies sound ridiculous.

Rocker 419 said...

Right on Ann. With the onset of Palin-mania, the youth vote is a wash anyway. I predict 50-50 for each candidate in this so called "youth" block. It's the old farts that will vote en masse. They always have and they always will.

Henry said...

Two months before the election, I get at least one text message from Obama a week

Just one? I have some friends who are diehard Obama supporters and they're wondering how to shut down the spam.

(They're still voting for him; they're just tired of the text messages.)

Revenant said...

It's easier to drill in forbidden ANWR. where no one has drilled before than in leased Point Thompson where drilling ceased 25 year ago?

What an odd way to put it, adding that "where no one has drilled before" -- as if there was something strange about the notion that a previously unexploited area of land might have easier-to-extract deposits than one which has been exploited for many years. Generally speaking, the easiest-to-reach deposits are extracted first because "easy to reach" roughly translates to "lower extraction cost per barrel" and thus "higher profits per barrel".

Anyway, Point Thompson is, as I understand it, mostly a natural gas field, with the oil deposits being harder to reach; the nearby ANWR is a better oil-drilling location. That aside, oil companies (e.g. Exxon) have announced plans to resume oil drilling in the area. See above, regarding "cost of production" versus "amount oil can be sold for" -- with oil prices high, previously-unattractive fields look good again. But they only stay attractive so long as prices stay high. That's why drilling in Point Thompson stopped a few years after the oil crisis of the 70s ended.

And answer my previous question, please -- if, as you claim, oil companies can profitably extract oil from the land they're already leasing, why aren't they extracting it? Do they not want higher profits?

JBlog said...

"On the road today, I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac. A little voice inside my head said, "Don't look back. You can never look back."

Out on the road one day, about 15 years ago, I really DID see a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac.

And a voice inside my head really DID say "don't look back, you can never look back."

Life imitating art.

former law student said...

Do you really believe that oil companies are willfully not expanding production if expansion would be profitable?

They're neither giving up the leases nor drilling. They're taking a dog in the manger attitude.

The deeper concern is that all this talk about ANWR and offshore drilling is a red herring, that drilling in this remote area or off shore would be unprofitable.

TMink said...

There is a word for people who depend on the youth vote to win an election: Loser.

Trey

Freder Frederson said...

Every time that large tax cuts on businesses have been implemented, they've resulted in a net increase in government revenue, as the economy expands; and every time that the reverse has been tried, it's achieved the reverse result.

Actually, you are simply lying (e.g., the economy expanded in the nineties after Clinton raised taxes). Also, your example about increased revenues paying for tax cuts simply isn't true. Tax cuts don't pay for themselves. Just because your taxes are lowered doesn't mean you are going to reinvest all the savings in the business (you might just take the profits and spend it on hookers, booze or drugs). Also, just because you are paying less in taxes doesn't mean you can sell more screws. China may still be able to produce them cheaper.

Seven Machos said...

Rev -- I was highly entertained last night in a comment thread with FLS, wherein FLS demonstrated some economic ignorance for the ages.

I think, at the end of the day, FLS and FLS's ilk do not understand the concept of profit. They don't understand why in the world you wouldn't spend a dollar do go get something and sell it for 90 cents.

Either that, or they think it's evil.

Revenant said...

They're neither giving up the leases nor drilling. They're taking a dog in the manger attitude.

Yes, we know that. Now answer the question you were actually *asked*.

The deeper concern is that all this talk about ANWR and offshore drilling is a red herring, that drilling in this remote area or off shore would be unprofitable.

If drilling in ANWR and off the coast would be unprofitable then there's no reason to ban it. Why give Republicans an issue to attack you with?

Original Mike said...

You beat me to it Trey.

But, maybe this time it will be different. It feels like it will be different. But it's felt like that before.

Pogo said...

you might just take the profits and spend it on hookers, booze or drugs

Lefty thinking in a nutshell. it's not your money in the first place, and if we deign let you keep some of it, you'll just blow it anyway.

Let us spend it for you. We know better what's good for you. We always have.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'd love to know what the hell "cut taxes for 95% of working families" means. Which taxes? Only around 50% of working families have an income tax payment to "cut" in the first place.

Preaching to the choir Rev, just repeating what the Kwisatz Haderach has promised. Freder of course has yet to respond.

Seven Machos said...

cut taxes for 95% of working families

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. Isn't that the guiding principle here?

vbspurs said...

I'll share a secret here . . . if it were up to me I would turn-off his alarm clock and let him sleep through election day. It's his mom that wants him to be responsible. I just want McCain to win.

HAH!

I don't believe in karma, but I think McCain would lose if you pulled a stunt like that, or anyone else.

So wake 'em up! And let them vote their conscience. Funny things happen in that booth. You never know...

vbspurs said...

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. Isn't that the guiding principle here?

Yes, and it's the Marxist credo. I hate it. This is why I personally have 3 television sets and over 100 watches. Screw my abilities, I have needs.

Revenant said...

Actually, you are simply lying (e.g., the economy expanded in the nineties after Clinton raised taxes).

"The economy expanded even though taxes were raised" does not refute the claim that the economy expands when taxes are cut, just as the fact that some people get better without medical treatment does not refute the idea that medical treatment improves health.

Pasta is right; *corporate* tax cuts are positively correlated with economic growth and increased tax revenue. The reason corporate tax cuts raise revenue and help the economy is that corporate profits either get invested (more jobs and sales, and thus more income and sales tax) or distributed to the shareholders or owners (who then pay income or capital gains taxes). The government still gets its tax money, it just gets it further down the pipeline AFTER it has been used to do economy-expanding things.

Bear in mind that the United States has the second-highest corporate tax rate in the world. Even the left-wing socialist utopias of Europe are smart enough to realize that it is better to tax the people who GET the corporate profits than it is to tax the corporations themselves.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Actually, you are simply lying (e.g., the economy expanded in the nineties after Clinton raised taxes).

Well by that logic, Bush senior's tax increase in 1990 should have resulted in a booming economy too then right? Oh wait...

But yes Freder you are correct. Pasta could take his tax savings and spend them on hookers and booze. Or he could do what successful business owners do and reinvest in their company to grow. Not every business is a WorldCom or Enron as much as you seem to think it is.

And when you accuse someone of lying simply because you disagree with thier POV only makes you look like more of a dick than you already are.

Thomas said...

"The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes...."

The article doesn't make it clear just what "list of foreclosed homes" the local party chairman is planning to use. I would agree that a recorded notice of default or even a notice of trustee sale wouldn't necessarily (or even likely) mean that the distressed homeowner no longer lived at the subject property. The actual foreclosure process can take a long time (especially with banks as backlogged as they are), and sometimes (though rarely) the default even gets cured.

On the other hand, if the "list of foreclosed homes" refers to a list of homes which have actually gone back to the bank at a trustee sale, then yes, it's a reasonable inference that the former owner no longer lives there, as he would have to be illegally squatting in a property he no longer had title to.

Revenant said...

"you might just take the profits and spend it on hookers, booze or drugs"

Lefty thinking in a nutshell. it's not your money in the first place, and if we deign let you keep some of it, you'll just blow it anyway.

He also seems to have missed the fact that Pasta was talking about business taxes, not personal income tax. How exactly does General Motors have sex with a prostitute?

Original Mike said...

You need 100 watches, Victoria? ;-)

vbspurs said...

Every last one of 'em, Original Mike. I'm off to buy another right now. ;)

Original Mike said...

I've made it through life with just one. Maybe that explains the empty feeling.

vbspurs said...

Pogo wrote:

Let us spend it for you. We know better what's good for you. We always have.

If I can point to why I am Conservative politically, it would be this.

"We are more intelligent than you are, we know what's better for you, we will spend your money more efficaciously so that you not only benefit, but all."

I have nothing against the commonweal. I pay my taxes, and though probably my kids will never go to public school, I'm happy to contribute to that and thousands of other shared causes.

But don't go touching my money, just because you think that will eradicate poverty. It won't.

If the Pope himself were to sell every treasure inside the Vatican, all his vestments, his Michelangelos and his priceless crucifixes made of gold and pearls, the next day the world would still be filled with poverty but civilisation would be infinitely poorer still.

So keep your hands off of my hard earned money, and off the Pope's ring too.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

I've made it through life with just one. Maybe that explains the empty feeling.

I urge you to go crazy and buy another! Doesn't have to be a Audemars Piguet. Casio G-Shock will do. Ahh, the feeling of warmth and love I get from my watches. Priceless.

Original Mike said...

Actually, I have to admit, I do have two. My girlfriend bought me one a year or so ago. I was appropriately gratefull and appreciative (both outwardly and inwardly) but there was another voice in my head saying: "I already have a watch. What do I need two for? I only have one wrist."

Hey! Wait a minute ...

Sloanasaurus said...

We should all take time to thank President Roosevelt and his leadership in preventing any more terrorist attacks since Pearl Harbor. It has been only 4 years. Not only has there not been a single attack on this country, but we kicked their asses and punished their leaders.

I do thank President Roosevelt. He showed great leadership even prior to the war at a time when some 80% of Americans were against help the allies. I also thank the Republicans during that war who were patriots and stood with Roosevelt on defeating Fascism even when things got bad for America in 1942. Too bad the liberals today aren't like the liberals of yesterday when it comes to defending America.

Sloanasaurus said...

Tax cuts don't pay for themselves. Just because your taxes are lowered doesn't mean you are going to reinvest all the savings in the business (you might just take the profits and spend it on hookers, booze or drugs).

Freder, the only way your argument works is if you believe that the government is better at creating assets than the private sector. You will lose that argument everytime.

Original Mike said...

Freder went to the Laura D'Angelo Tyson School of Economics ("A dollar in tax cuts is a dollar removed from the economy").

halojones-fan said...

"Obama was the thing that was happening, people wanted to be part of what was happening. There was that inspiring "Yes We Can" period last February. Bonding took place. If that feeling persists, perhaps it propels young people to the polls.

But that feeling has dissipated..."

This actually reminds me of another HST quote, from back when he was involved in political campaigning in Aspen. I can't remember the exact statement, but he said something along the lines of "the hardest part of the campaign was not getting the momentum going among the Freaks, but the timing of it. Imagine a vast mob of Freaks storming the county courthouse, singing and chanting and tripping on political power, howling 'LET US VOTE, LET US VOTE!'...on October Twenty-Fourth!"

Freder Frederson said...

Freder, the only way your argument works is if you believe that the government is better at creating assets than the private sector. You will lose that argument everytime.

Sheesh, rather than just pretending I am wrong, why don't you produce evidence that I am. Oh that's right, you can't.

Actually, the way my argument works is not if the government is better at creating assets but as long as tax revenue is not completely removed from the economy, which of course it is not. In fact some government spending is very beneficial to the economy, especially government spending on infrastructure.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I do thank President Roosevelt. He showed great leadership even prior to the war at a time when some 80% of Americans were against help the allies.

Yet today one of the biggest criticisms we get over the war is that that didn't enter it pre-emptively in 1939 like the Brits and French did. We had the smugness to mind our own business until we were attacked.

Revenant said...

In fact some government spending is very beneficial to the economy, especially government spending on infrastructure.

Yes, and if we needed to raise taxes to pay for infrastructure improvements that would indeed be an argument for taxes helping the economy. But as we don't, it isn't. We're raising taxes in order to redistribute the money to other people -- redistribute after the government takes a cut. That is obviously less efficient than simply not redistributing the money in the first place.

Hoosier Daddy said...

In fact some government spending is very beneficial to the economy, especially government spending on infrastructure.

No one disputes that. Some government spending is useful (defense, roads, schools) What we dispute is how much the government takes and what they spend the money on: eg; welfare, pork, foreign aid.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Rev beat me to it. :-)

Randy said...

Revenant: In RE: Probable profitability of ANWR drilling. Here's some ammunition for you. ;-)

Lawgiver said...

Obama as the KWISATZ HADERACH. Heh, that's one I haven't heard. Do you think he keeps a stash of melange in his coat pocket?

Sloanasaurus said...

In fact some government spending is very beneficial to the economy, especially government spending on infrastructure.

As stated above by others, some government spending is necessary. However, government spending on non government things such as transfers of wealth are not efficient. In the end they might make everyone more equal but only because everyone is a lot poorer.

here is a great example of liberal thought. Its more fair in an economy if the poor person makes $25 and the rich person makes $50. than if the poor person makes $48 and the rich peson $100. In the first instance, the poor person makes 50% of the rich person and only $25 less. In the second instance the poor person makes only 48% of the rich person and a whopping $52 less. The elitest liberal (such as Barack Obama) prefers to to live in the world of the first example. Everyone else (including the poor person) prefers the world of the second example.

Revenant said...

Thanks for the link, Randy.

D Boyd said...

McCain will outdo Obama for the same reason the youth vote never materializes. The geezers, like McCain know what it is like to be broken and still overcome. Youth, by definition, have not experienced that and will give up and go home. Someday they will know humility (we are the one's we have been waiting for???) and will come into power. But not now. Skill and cunning over youth every time.

Michael said...

They'll vote and Obama will win.

And by more than most here would want to believe.

The voter registrations are massively in favor of the Democrats right now, and people generally don't "register" if they're not planning on voting.

Hoping and praying young people won't vote is nothing more than wishful thinking on the part of the conservatives.

Michael said...

There's Sloan again, calling liberals traitors.

It makes me wonder who in the hell this guy can have a conversation with...other than those who think as he does.

Try to imagine looking another American in the eyes, who doesn't believe we should be in Iraq...and calling them a traitor.

Disgusting.

Cedarford said...

Pogo said...
I'm guessing that -barring some coservative reawakening- we go the European welfare route, until we go broke like the Europeans.

Hoosier Daddy said...Well to be fair Pogo, we are broke. SSN and Medicare are liabilties that are not counted toward the Federal debt which is around $10 trillion at the moment. Toss SSN and Medicare in the bowl and now you're in the ballpark of $40 trillion.

And CBO is saying that if the Government picks up all the bad Freddie and Fannie Mac Paper, that is accountable long-term debt and we may have to add 5.4 trillion onto our national debt.
Add in 2 trillion in debt now off the books for Bush's military adventures.

It's not "almost as bad as the Euros", its far worse. Because the Euros never bought the Reagan voodoo supply side economics and have taxed whereas Bush borrows and says cost is no object as he proposes more tax cuts.

And that won't change under McCain or Obama - both want more spending and more tax cut pandering...

Things will only change when the London, Dubai, Swiss, & Chinese bankers demand higher and higher interest rates on their money, to keep the US wastrel supply siders afloat.

Then we become a bigger Argentina. Hopefully not a Weimar Germany.

-------------------

Hoosier - Yet today one of the biggest criticisms we get over the war is that that didn't enter it pre-emptively in 1939 like the Brits and French did. We had the smugness to mind our own business until we were attacked.

An argument that only those that believe that doubling or tripling the 420,000 men we lost in WWII would have been worth it if we could have saved six times that number of "special" foreigners.

Same with the argument that we "owed it" to invade years before D-Day, less prepared and equipped..just so we could buy more lives of Soviets or the "special Europeans" with our blood.

Both were politically impossible. Americans have this strange chauvanism where families do not believe in sacrificing masses of their children to "save" any foreigner. Or "bring democracy to the noble Muslims" in this era. We only have a national consensus when we believe that we must send lots of our kids to their deaths to protect America's vital interests.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Obama as the KWISATZ HADERACH. Heh, that's one I haven't heard.

Gratuitous Dune reference, one of my favorite books and the whole Messiah thing was grating.

You could re-write the whole series with Bill Clinton as Leto Atredies, Monica Lewinski appropriately as his mistress the Lady Jessica; Bush of course would be the Padashaw Emperor and Cheney would be Baron Harkonnen.

Freder Frederson said...

If we had instead only paid, say, $25K per year, we could have purchased one new swiss machine every two years.

Hey Pasta, correct me if I am wrong, but I do believe capital improvements can be offset against income.

Original Mike said...

Cheney would be Baron Harkonnen.

Ouch.

Michael said...

Speaking of Roosevelt...

In her convention speech last week, Sarah Palin quoted "a writer" who extolled the virtues of small-town America. Palin didn't identify the "writer" for a very good reason -- she was quoting the belligerent right-wing columnist Westbrook Pegler.

It was an interesting source for Palin to use in such a high-profile setting.

It's an odd source because Pegler, who moved further right as his career went on, ended up very, very far out. Frank notes that he talked hopefully of the assassination of Franklin Roosevelt.

He was also known for what Philip Roth described as his "casual distaste for Jews," which had become so evident by the end that he was bounced from the journal of the John Birch Society in 1964 for alleged anti-semitism.

So, let's see here, the McCain campaign wants to cut off U.S. financial support to Israel, Palin is quoting a notorious anti-Semite at the Republican convention, and Palin's church welcomes the "Jews for Jesus" crowd.

Strange.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

So, let's see here, the McCain campaign wants to cut off U.S. financial support to Israel, Palin is quoting a notorious anti-Semite at the Republican convention, and Palin's church welcomes the "Jews for Jesus" crowd.

Strange.


Yes, verry strange. And you know what is even more strange is that Palin has an Israeli flag in her office and occasionally wears a small Isreali flag pin.

Whooooah. Maybe this is a double double blind to fool people that she planned years ago just knowing that one day McCain would pick her for his VP pick. Or....maybe it is just that you are an uninformed idiot parroting the party line?

Dewave said...

I just love how the Ann's analysis of the campaign is completely devoid of policy issues. It has degenerated to a high school level popularity contest.

The only reason Obama is the democratic candidate is because he won the high school level popularity contest in the primaries.

Why should we expect anything different in the general election?

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Red River said...

McCain has yet to go after the youth vote.

He CAN speak to youth very effectively as this video shows.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGh6aVWL6lQ

Look for this shoe to drop on the Obama campaign soon.

former law student said...

Good link. All that sturm und drang to get one year's worth of oil.

The best estimate of economically recoverable oil in the federal portion of ANWR is 7.06 billion barrels of oil, a quantity roughly equal to US consumption in 2005.

Considering how little impact it would have on the price of oil, it makes more sense to save it for when we really need it -- when oil is $250 a barrel or $400 (in today's dollars).

Original Mike said...

Yes, Michael, we read Frank's pointless column.

Roger J. said...

Please recall that the old unitary executive himself, FDR, committed US naval forces in the war before war was declared by having them escort lend lease convoys which the German U boats attacked. We actually lost men in combat preceeding Pearl Harbor (look up the USN destroyer Reuben James).

With respect to the tax cuts resulting in increased governmental revenue (which is NOT necessarily economic growth), the last lit review I saw suggested about 80 percent of the articles felt they didnt, and 20 percent felt they did. In short, economists, dont really "know" and cant "prove" it, only correlate it.

Finally infrastructure is a clssic example of a "public good." Getting agreement, however, in what is a public good by applying economic definitions is often difficult. Is a petroleum refinery a public good? An interstate system? A military force?

Original Mike said...

The best estimate of economically recoverable oil in the federal portion of ANWR is 7.06 billion barrels of oil, a quantity roughly equal to US consumption in 2005.

I am so tired of this dishonest formulation. First off, we don't know how much oil is there, but if we accept this number for the sake of argument, ANWR would provide 5% of U.S. needs for 20 years. Quite significant. And would it reduce the price of oil? I don't know and I don't care. We need the oil. Period.

Michael said...

original mike: "Pointless" in what respect?

Because you don't agree?

What a shocker.

Seven Machos said...

I do believe capital improvements can be offset against income.

That doesn't matter, dumb ass, because without the new machine additonal income that could be taxed cannot be generated in the first place.

Original Mike said...

Right, because Frank has stumbled on this pearl, we now know that Palin is an anti-semite who secretly wishes FDR had been assisinated.

Roger J. said...

There is the whole issue of oil sands and oil shale which are now economically feasible (ask the Canadians). And when the market price of petroleum gets too high, someone will come up a cheaper power source. I have enough faith in the markets to do that. Much more faith in the markets than in a government program.

Michael said...

Sooooooooooooo, how does everybody here feel about George W. Bush allowing secret forces to operate in Pakistan?

Remember when Obama was taken to task by McCain because he said he would do the same if he thought Osama Bin Laden or terrorists were hiding in Pakistan?

*Now if only Bush would listen to Obama about those timetables for withdrawal...oh, my bad...he already did.

HA.

Sloanasaurus said...

There's Sloan again, calling liberals traitors.

There's Michael again lying about what I said.

I said the republicans during WW II were patriotic in their support for FDR's waging of the war.

You could imply that today's liberals are not patriotic for the same reason (opposing the war for political gain at home), but not being patriotic is different than being a traitor.

Recent traitors include the NY Times for leaking classified information for political purposes.

Michael said...

According to Sloan's insane reasoning, these people are obviously...liberals:

(CBS/AP) Even with American troops headed soon from an increasingly quiet Iraq to a more turbulent Afghanistan, defeating extremists in Afghanistan is growing more complex and more urgent, President Bush's senior defense advisers say.

"Frankly, we are running out of time," Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, referring to the international effort to stabilize Afghanistan.

"I'm not convinced we're winning in Afghanistan," said Mullen, adding quickly, "I'm convinced we can."

What is needed, he said, is better Afghan governance, more foreign investment, a viable alternative to poppy farming, greater cooperation with Pakistan and more U.S. nonmilitary assistance.

Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, testifying together one day after President Bush announced that one Marine battalion and one Army brigade would be shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan this fall and winter, both stressed the futility of relying too much on military power in Afghanistan.

"We cannot kill our way to victory," Mullen said.

Roger J. said...

Michael: Run out of talking points on the oil subthread? Throwing your rock and hiding your hand, are you?

Michael said...

Sloan, if YOU can't remember what you write or say, how can you have a reasonable discussion about anything?

This is exactly what you said: "Too bad the liberals today aren't like the liberals of yesterday when it comes to defending America."

Please explain how saying liberals today aren't interested in "defending America" differs from calling liberals traitorous?

Michael said...

roger, was I talking oil somewhere?

Roger J. said...

Micahel, no you werent, FLS was. Apologies for confusing you with someone else.

Michael said...

Roger, since you're interested in anything relating to "oil," here's something I find interesting and typical of the current administration:

THE JAW-DROPPING INTERIOR DEPARTMENT SCANDAL

The Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, where an anything-goes atmosphere led to Caligula-like corruption and debauchery.

We've probably all become at least a little inured to Bush administration scandals -- there are just too damn many -- but when federal officials start trading cocaine and sex for lucrative contracts, you know the administration has exceeded the limits of even the most capable satirists.

But this extraordinary scandal is more than just an indictment of a corrupt administration, it also has a certain policy significance.

The Minerals Management Service just happens to be responsible for issuing drilling licenses to oil companies, and collecting royalty checks from the industry.

Seven Machos said...

Why you guys take the bait from this Michael person, I'll never know. There are sensible and slightly sensible leftists here. He is not one of them.

It's like arguing about Jews with Cedarford. No point. You just have to either ignore these people or swat humorously at them like the hopeless trolls they are.

Revenant said...

Recent traitors include the NY Times for leaking classified information for political purposes.

Leaking classified information for *domestic* political gain is merely odious (and of course illegal). It would only be treasonous if they did it to help the enemy.

Sloanasaurus said...

This is exactly what you said: "Too bad the liberals today aren't like the liberals of yesterday when it comes to defending America."

Please explain how saying liberals today aren't interested in "defending America" differs from calling liberals traitorous?


I never said liberals of today aren't "interested" in defending America, I said they are not "like" the liberals of yesterday (Meaning pre-1972).

I much preferred FDR, Truman, and JFK's, approach to defending American than today's liberals. So do most Americans, which is why the Democrats suck when it comes to national security.

Roger J. said...

Michael--sorry not interested; try trolling something else. No more interactions with you. Taking 7Ms advice. Have a nice day, son.

Michael said...

roger,
I don't think I'll be able to live with myself...not having someone like you to interact with.

Good-bye old man.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Micahel, no you werent, FLS was. Apologies for confusing you with someone else.

I think it was last week but Trooper pegged it right. Michael is Luckyoldson. Slightly improved writing skills but the tone, tenor are all the same.

former law student said...

I do believe capital improvements can be offset against income.

That doesn't matter, dumb ass, because without the new machine additonal income that could be taxed cannot be generated in the first place.


If it's uneconomic to pay for machinery with tax savings over time, then how can anyone afford to go into business in the first place? Does one simply stumble across a satchel filled with $100K and think, "Hey, now I can buy a screw machine."?

ANWR would provide 5% of U.S. needs for 20 years.

So would getting 10% better mileage from our cars -- the same improvement expected from proper tire inflation. Hey, another point for Obama! (Gasoline represents about half our consumption of oil products.)

But our oil consumption goes up by 25% every 10-15 years, so in the out years ANWR's share wouldn't be 5%.

US oil production peaked in 1970, when we produced half again as much as we imported. Now we import twice as much as we produce. We would have to triple domestic production to eliminate dependence on foreign oil, and I don't see where that oil is coming from.

Revenant said...

where an anything-goes atmosphere led to Caligula-like corruption and debauchery.

In other news, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announced a bold new initiative aimed at marrying his sister and siring a race of Gods. A Times editorial blasted this flagrant violation of the Establishment clause.

Seven Machos said...

No question that Michael is the Luckster. Why the name change? I must admit my curiosity.

Michael said...

seven says: "Why you guys take the bait from this Michael person, I'll never know. There are sensible and slightly sensible leftists here. He is not one of them."

"...sensible and slightly sensible leftists..."

Now, that is funny.

Revenant said...

I think it was last week but Trooper pegged it right. Michael is Luckyoldson. Slightly improved writing skills but the tone, tenor are all the same.

I don't remember Lucky doing all this cutting and pasting of articles from other sites. It isn't like Lucky-style trolls are especially unique in this world.

But maybe it is him; eh.

Revenant said...

FLS,

If it's uneconomic to pay for machinery with tax savings over time, then how can anyone afford to go into business in the first place?

Most people who go into business discover that they CAN'T afford it; most new businesses fail.

If you don't have money of your own to pay for your business, you have to borrow it. Borrowing money is generally more expensive than spending the money you already have. This raises the risk of making the purchase, increases the cost of doing business -- and decreases profits, thereby making future improvements harder to manage.

Say I have $1,000,000 and can either invest that money at 5% interest per year or buy a $1,000,000 piece of machinery with an eye to using it to earn money. My friend Bob has no money; he can either (a) borrow $1,000,000 at 6% to buy the machine or (b) do nothing.

If I don't buy the machine, I collect $50,000 a year in interest. In order for buying the machine to be worthwhile, it has to net me at least $50,000 a year, otherwise I'm poorer than I would have been if I didn't buy the machine. If Bob buys the machine, he pays $60,000 a year in interest. Unless the machine nets him at least $60,000 a year, HE is poorer than he'd have been without buying it. His risk of losing money is higher; his profits are lower.

"ANWR would provide 5% of U.S. needs for 20 years."

So would getting 10% better mileage from our cars

False dichotomy. Drilling in ANWR won't prevent improvements in fuel economy, and if we do both then we get even *bigger* gains.

the same improvement expected from proper tire inflation. Hey, another point for Obama!

The obvious flaw in that argument is that Obama has no way of forcing people to properly inflate their tires. Republicans are proposing we drill in ANWR; Obama is proposing that we live in Fantasyland.

But our oil consumption goes up by 25% every 10-15 years, so in the out years ANWR's share wouldn't be 5%.

The 5% figure is the average over the 20-year time frame, given projected American fuel use.

We would have to triple domestic production to eliminate dependence on foreign oil, and I don't see where that oil is coming from.

We would have to repeal the Law of Supply and Demand to eliminate dependence on foreign oil. Both McCain and Obama are full of shit when they talk about achieving that goal.

What domestic drilling DOES do is (a) increase the world supply of oil somewhat and (b) increase the percentage of oil dollars going to Americans rather than to nutty Arab terrorist sponsors.

And I notice you still haven't answered the question of why oil companies aren't drilling on their current land, if doing so is profitable for them.

Original Mike said...

Well, whoever he is he's tarnishing the name "Michael" so I wish he'd cut it out.

former law student said...

you still haven't answered the question of why oil companies aren't drilling on their current land, if doing so is profitable for them.

It's not as profitable as their alternatives, which include "do nothing." Look how OPEC just cut production, in order to keep the price up.

Michael K Pate said...

I will never forget my student teaching experience in 1992. Whenever it came up, all of the students were pretty much diehard supporters of Bush 41.

Fen said...

Freeman Hunt: I think this analysis is right on. Voting Obama was seen as "the thing," like going to a must-see concert. It's not "the thing" anymore; it's just regular, old voting.

I think its worse than that. More than anything, young adults dread being the last ones to let go of a fad.

Marci: "Hey Brad! Remember, you promised to drive us to the polls on Obama Day"

Brad: "Nah, Obama's so ghey. And I just got Mechwarrior5 installed"

Fen said...

Michael: Roger, since you're interested in anything relating to "oil," here's something

Just a reminder that last week Micheal was busted making up false Palin quotes from scratch. Not merely misread or out of context, but completely fabricated.

Waste of your time to respond to him.

Freder Frederson said...

If it's uneconomic to pay for machinery with tax savings over time, then how can anyone afford to go into business in the first place?

Okay, let's go back to Pasta's original claim.

For the last ten years, our small company has paid an average of $100K per year in federal income tax.

If we had instead only paid, say, $25K per year, we could have purchased one new swiss machine every two years.


Apparently, these machines cost $150,000 each and Pasta is claiming he would buy an additional one every two years if he had the money. But apparently his profit is about $300,000, and that assumes he has really lousy accountants and pays nearly the full corporate tax rate on his entire profit.

I don't find it very credulous that considering the amount of taxes he pays, indicating that his business is quite profitable, that he actually is prevented from purchasing new machines (which would actually reduce his tax liability) because of an undue tax burden.

Revenant said...

It's not as profitable as their alternatives, which include "do nothing."

Um, FLS... if an action is less profitable than "doing nothing", then that action is by definition not profitable.

This is not a complicated concept.

Look how OPEC just cut production, in order to keep the price up.

Different regions have different price points for profitability. Besides, "oil companies won't actually drill in ANWR or off the coast even if we let them" is, for obvious reasons, not an argument for banning them from doing it. Where's the sense in banning an activity you claim nobody actually wants to do? Drilling bans only make sense if you accept that oil companies really DO plan to do there.

Which, as a matter of fact, they do.

Roger J. said...

Rev: you are probably wasting your breath making economic arguments to FLS--also need to take into account opportunity costs in any calculation.

Mentorstl said...

George said:

"I have a Grateful Dead sticker and a McCain sticker on my bumper. I'm getting the message out...."

You indeed are! By doing so you are helping get the younger voters out to vote. Nothing scares them more than a deceased band and an ancient candidate.

blake said...

Did FLS just compare GWB to FDR?

Whoa.

No one disputes that. Some government spending is useful (defense, roads, schools)

I'd exclude "schools" from that list. They're the opposite of useful.

Hey, Mechwarrior5 is out?

This has been an educational thread!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

also need to take into account opportunity costs in any calculation

And the time value of money

Fen said...

Hey, Mechwarrior5 is out?

Nah, they'll never make a new game engine for the PC platform. Sorry to lead you on.

blake said...

Another reason Microsoft sucks.

Same with EA. They love buying studios and shutting them down.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Hey, Mechwarrior5 is out?

Don't know but I just got my copy of Spore from Amazon yesterday. World of Warcraft is going to take a back seat for awhile.:-)

blake said...

First look at Spore.

jamestrainor said...

There is a term for politicians that rely on the youth vote in this country.

That term is "loser".

JB said...

This race also seems less critical in that neither McCain nor Obama generate the visceral reactions that Bush and Kerry generated. I imagine that turnout drops when neither candidate drives an "end of the world" scenario in the mind of the opposition.

Fen said...

Another reason Microsoft sucks. Same with EA. They love buying studios and shutting them down.

MS did that with MW. We have a community of good mods/developers who fixed alot of holes in the game [stuff MS missed or was sloppy about]. MS was shelving the game and moving to xbox, but refused to even share the source code with these guys so they could keep the game fresh.

Whiskey said...

I've blogged about this on my blog. You can see the specifics here: link.

Short answer, there are 8 million MORE seniors than the youth vote. Longer answer, youth votes under 50% of the time, seniors over 75% of the time.

So no, Barack Obama CANNOT WIN with the Youth Vote.

They won't turn out for him, since they never do. All the data (Census Bureau) from past elections show low turnout among youth voters and HIGH turnout for seniors. For obvious reasons I cover in my post.

EVEN if Youth turned out at the level of Seniors (which is EXTREMELY unlikely), Seniors STILL OUTNUMBER THEM. Period. That is the consequence of the baby BUST.

Americans stopped having kids at around 1965. They just did (see my posts on "Why It's Always 1968"). There is a baby bust. It's why Boomers rule and will until they mostly age out of existence. This is just demographic reality.

I can't imagine why Democrats don't just look at Census data. It's free. It's online. Before that, available to folks if you went to most Federal buildings downtown. This is elementary stuff. I feel like Casey Stengel. "Can't anybody play this game?"

blake said...

MS did that with MW. We have a community of good mods/developers who fixed alot of holes in the game [stuff MS missed or was sloppy about]. MS was shelving the game and moving to xbox, but refused to even share the source code with these guys so they could keep the game fresh.

I'd say don't get me started but, frankly, anything's better than politics at this point.

BoJ said...

Some interesting opinions all around. But the amount of time spent on the oil discussion just blows my mind. Its like a bunch of people in the late 1800's arguing about the pro's and con's of increasing the whale hunt for lamp oil, when Thomas Edison is next door lighting his dining room with an incandescent bulb. Do you know that France and India have already started mass production of individual commuter cars that run on compressed air (http://www.theaircar.com)? Iceland's electric and heating needs are fueled by geothermal generators (sure, Yellowstone would take a hit, but its better than having air quality like China's). T. Boone Pickens is investing in fields of wind generators (and the corporate tax burden doesn't seem to be stopping him).

I have an AARP card and I just want to say that growing older does not automatically turn you into a person who supports the status quo because they'd rather keep what they've got than take a risk at making things better. There may be lots of nuances about McCain/Obama that are worth arguing, but when it comes to oil - get past it. Either that industry dies, or we do.