Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Just a reminder that if it seems like there's less on the ole Deeth Blog these days to check out my Des Moines Register stuff. Now on with the clips:

  • New census numbers mean new analysis of the now year-old presidential election. Marc Ambinder has analysis:
    No wonder Republicans worry about a Democratic demographic storm. Young voter turnout has increased at a rate of about 30% per general election since 2000. Indeed, the rate of increase was higher from 2000 to 2004 than from 2004 to 2008.

    Or to put it my way: the nation got more like the People's Republic of Johnson County.

  • As for Obama's drop in approval, Charles Franklin writes:
    Obama has not plummeted among independents, and that needs to be clarified before it becomes erroneous conventional wisdom... There is no evidence that any group of Dems, especially liberal Dems are unhappy with Obama's performance. Critical is that moderate and even conservative Dems have not moved away since August. Angry conservative Reps are indeed very unhappy with Obama, at almost the same level of disgust as Dems felt for Bush, but they too have reached a plateau at a steady 10% approval.

    Public Policy Polling puts it more plainly:
    In June Obama had an 82% approval rating with Democrats. Now it's 83%. He had a 46% approval rating with independents. Now it's 47%. No real change on either of those fronts. But with Republicans he's dropped from an 18% mark to just 10%. That shift is what put his approval rating below 50%- he's gone from a small amount of crossover support to a very small amount of crossover support... you have to ask though: was there any chance of many of those people actually voting for him in the future?

    Republicans have moved from give the guy a chance tolerance to tea party oppositional defiance.

  • All this begs the FiveThirtyEight question: How Bad Could Obama Screw Up and Still Beat Sarah Palin? Iowa version: How Bad Could Culver Screw Up and Still Beat Bob Vander Plaats?) Local version: How Bad Could Rettig Screw Up and Still Beat Lori Cardella?

  • Meanwhile, over in libertarian la-la land, a spirited defense of Ebenezer Scrooge:
    If Cratchit's skills were worth more to anyone than the fifteen shillings Scrooge pays him weekly, there would be someone glad to offer it to him. Since no one has, and since Cratchit's profit-maximizing boss is hardly a man to pay for nothing, Cratchit must be worth exactly his present wages.

    No doubt Cratchit needs—i.e., wants—more, to support his family and care for Tiny Tim. But Scrooge did not force Cratchit to father children he is having difficulty supporting. If Cratchit had children while suspecting he would be unable to afford them, he, not Scrooge, is responsible for their plight. And if Cratchit didn't know how expensive they would be, why must Scrooge assume the burden of Cratchit's misjudgment?

    I can't tell if this is a joke or not. The fact that I can't tell if this is a joke or not is the main reason why Libertarians have been stuck in the half a percent range for three decades.

  • But one place where libertarians have it right and are ahead of the curve is drug law:
    A Gallup poll in October found 44 percent of Americans favor full legalization of marijuana -- a rise of 13 points since 2000. Gallup said that if public support continues growing at a rate of 1 to 2 percent per year, "the majority of Americans could favor legalization of the drug in as little as four years."

    Advocates say the biggest surge came with the election of Barack Obama, the third straight president to acknowledge having smoked marijuana, and the first to regard it with anything like nonchalance.

  • But on the Free Market, the price of music has dropped to zero, prompting this when I was your age musing from a guy about my age:
    The younger generation has no romantic attachments to records as physical objects. To them, music exists as a kind of omnipresent atmospheric resource.

    And it’s not that I begrudge them their online treasure troves or bite-size iPods. But I still miss the way it used to be, in the old days, when fans had to invest serious time and money to track down the album or song they wanted.

    Uphill, both ways, get off my lawn.
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