Fun with 2012

I started to read Nate Silver’s thorough piece on the 2012 election when I got sidetracked by this really fun interactive graphic.  You can play with economic conditions and Obama’s approval rating to see how he would fare against different Republican rivals, according to a model Silver created.  Here’s what the numbers look like when I set growth to 1.5% and Obama approval to 38%.  Among other flaws, the fact that GDP growth and Obama approval can be manipulated independently pretty much makes no sense.  Still, the fun and value in here is seeing how the different GOP candidates stack up:

As I’ve said, if the economy is bad enough, even Bachman can win– but it’s got to be really bad.  Basically an actual recession.  I also think it way overpredicts Herman Cain.  Anyway, it does accurate suggest that the two candidates from the “sane Mormon” wing of the GOP are definitely most formidable in a general election.  Anyway, it’s fun– have a go yourself.

Republican filibuster ≠ “the Senate”

Reporting like this from the Post this evening is so tiresome:

Senate blocks $60 billion infrastructure plan, another part of Obama jobs bill

The Senate shot down another piece of President Obama’s $447 billion jobs bill Thursday, as a stalemated Congress goes through the motions of attempting legislation to spur economic growth largely as a mechanism to allow each party to blame one another for the failure to act.

By a vote of 51 to 49, the Senate blocked a measure to spend $50 billion on highway, rail, transit and airport improvements and another $10 billion as seed money for an infrastructure bank designed to spark private investment in construction. The measure needed 60 votes to proceed to a full debate.

Got that?  A 51 member majority of the Senate voted for the legislation.  That’s not “The Senate” blocking, that’s a Republican filibuster.  Period.  Not this half-assed, “The measure needed 60 votes to proceed to a full debate.”  Please!  This is the “liberal media”?  On a related note, damn do I hate Joe Lieberman.

More asymmetry

I haven’t followed the North Carolina redistricting particularly closesly, but it struck me that 1) the Republicans created an enormously effective gerrymander; and 2) given that it creates several majority-minority districts it would probably pass the Department of Justice’s consideration on Voting Rights Act fairness, that Southern states have to pre-clear.  What it does so effectively is really pack Black voters into just a handful of districts to dilute their political impact, but given that the law does call for majority-minority districts, it seems that they just played this to the hilt.

Here’s the thing, though, the Obama Justice department had to approve this.  This week, it did.  Here’s what occurred to me.  If things were the other way around and the Bush DOJ had the ability to legally prevent a Democratic gerrymander don’t you think they would have found an excuse to stop it– even if correctly interpreting the law, they shouldn’t have?   I actually think it is a real credit to the Obama DOJ that they played this on the level.  Of course, we should expect nothing less from our Department of Justice.  But sadly, we’ve been given plenty of reason to believe that’s not always the case.

Best Birthday Ever?

No, not mine, my oldest son, David, turned 12 yesterday.  Things like that make me feel old much more so than the fact that I’ll soon be 40.  November 2, 1999 was the only election day (Cuyahoga County municipal for me in that particular case) that I didn’t vote.  Given that Kim’s labor was 36 hours, I was actually going to slip out for 15 minutes and do so, but at that point it was finally time to push.  Anyway, thanks to a friend with season tickets, I was able to take David to a Duke basketball game on his birthday.  Just an exhibition against, Shaw, but the timing (and the mid-court seats) couldn’t have been better.   Given that it followed a birthday meal at David’s favorite restaurant by far– Cici’s pizza– just maybe the best birthday ever.

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