Tech Issues & Open Thread

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It’s Friday, go have a weekend.

Open Thread:


  1. Noway says:

    Quick question for my fellow posters: I keep hearing how awful the “Fiscal Cliff” is. But continued spending more than we take in for the past three decades have brought us to 16 trillion in debt. Call me crazy, but aren’t multiple “Fiscal Cliffs” necessary if we are to do more than paying lip service to the worn out phase, “this spending is unsustainable?”

    • Baker says:

      Funny question Noway: I was just discussing this at dinner. Please someone correct me here if I’m wrong: With the “massive cuts” in spending that are coming, and the big tax hikes, we’re only reducing our deficit by $500 BILL. Which is a ton. But I use the word only because that means our debt will still be going up by a good TRILL a year. $20 TRILL in debt here we come, even after the fiscal cliff. And then we get to pay near or right at a TRILL in service payments. To pay down the debt at that point becomes a very Sisyphean task.

      Is any of that misstated? Someone correct me where I may be wrong. If it’s not wrong, we skerewed. As for the fiscal cliff, we’re damned if we go over it, and we’re damned if we don’t.

  2. Jackster says:

    I am thinking the fiscal cliff is a good thing, simply because everyone agrees we need to cut spending, just not “my” spending.

    I say let’s cut it and move on.

    • Lea Thrace says:

      I agree wholeheartedly. The whole point of sequestration was as a punishment. But in my opinion it is a great thing. Now everyone has to let go of a chunk of their prized calf (military for Reps, social programs for Dems). The immediate result will be some pain but I am hoping that it will open up some eyes and be a smack across the head. Everything needs to be on the table for cuts AND both sides need to work together to get there!

      • Harry says:

        Strangely I agree with you on this, but with 90% certainty it will not happen. They’ll end up kicking the can, creating even greater stagflation down the road. Obama in the final debate said that “sequestration will not happen”.

    • Charlie says:

      We have stated early on that Buzz is in a unique position here, and will not be commenting on matters discussed in House Caucus meetings as a matter of policy. Don’t expect him to abuse the trust of his colleagues by commenting here.

        • Charlie says:

          It was one of the major pieces of legislation from the last session, telegraphed that this would be on the ballot as soon as the Supreme Court gave their ruling on Charter Schools. Feb 3rd was early in the session, when the bill was being negotiated and still didn’t have super-majority support in the House or Senate. So I’m not even sure who “more easily pass” is referring to – legislators who needed a broad base for agreement or the general public last Tuesday.

          Regardless, it was one of the most visible and most debated items of the 2012 General Assembly. A lot of folks who are trying to claim that this thing was somehow cobbled together in back rooms with stealth intentions would like everyone to forget that.

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      “It appears the comments and the spam filter are back in synch, and the long national nightmare of comment moderation is over.”

      Unlike the long national nightmare that is the O…

      Nevermind…I’ve spoken my piece about the election and the dangers of “socialism” (communism, marxism, etc). I’ve accepted defeat in 2012 Presidential Election and I’ve moved on.

      • saltycracker says:

        unlike mod-IFY

        GA rolled
        Tide got rolled
        Gators slipped in
        ‘Noles underranked !
        Notre Dame underranked ?
        Tech got the best of 118 points

  3. SallyForth says:

    Before heading out for a great Saturday afternoon, I need a brain dump about the post-election discourse. Each day more info ekes out concerning the details of both campaigns, and there is sure to be more. So before the GOP gives itself whiplash jumping the gun about a retooling, everybody needs to calm down and allow all the facts to gel.

    Among things to consider: (1) Although their candidate did not unseat an incumbent President, Romney was a quality nominee who came within 1-2%, and they re-won a majority in Congress and maybe picked up a few there, plus they won governorships around the nation and still hold a majority of the states. (2) Numbers wonks are now telling us that there were actually more Republican voters overall, just not the presidential race. Let’s hear more on that. (3) According to CNN, Obama got 44% of the Latino vote, and the Obama campaign wisely targeted Latino populations in swing states, where it made a big difference. But look at all the Latino GOP members of Congress and US Senate, and in state government seats, and the fact that Latinos traditionally vote Republican. (4) Obama got 54% of women’s vote, Romney 45% – a gap that can easily be closed by just respecting a woman’s right to control her own body and leave the religious issue of abortion to the churches.

    We also now have learned that Romney’s campaign had its feet cut out from under it by computer software failure. With over 30,000 energetic GOTV volunteers in critical battleground states, the central campaign’s GOTV program crashed on Election Day! This left all those workers frustrated, not even knowing which doors to knock on or who to call and get millions of Romney voters to the polls. That GOTV technology crash cost Romney dearly.

    On the other hand, we now learn that the “Community Organizer in Chief’s” campaign kept employees on the ground in battleground states for the last four years, never stopped campaigning from 2008. This nonstop working of the voter files was a huge disadvantage to any GOP candidate, since they had only two months to mount a campaign after being nominated from a brutal primary. Kudos to the Obama 2008-2012 campaign of community organizing to get out the vote. The GOP needs to learn from that and get busy doing a generic version to have in place no matter who their candidate may be in 2016.

    These are just a few reasons the Republicans need to slow down and let the information lag catch up, then deal with the total picture. Why throw out the baby with the bathwater? It would not take extensive changes that would dislodge all their constituency groups. Target and remove the war on women from the GOP legislative agenda – instead respect all women and urge people to take the issue to their religious and medical arenas where it belongs. This will gain an estimated 10-15% of women voters of all ages who actually believe in traditional Republican principles, along with the men and family members who support them.

    There! I’ll send my bill for consulting fees to the GOP. 🙂 Now have a great weekend, fellow P/P junkies.

    • caroline says:

      I think you’ve gotten some things mixed up. Obama got the majority of the Latino vote nationwide not 44%. If Romney had gotten 56% of the Latino vote he would have won. I believe that 44% is for Fl only and that is because Cubans vote Republican for the most part BUT Latinos generally do not vote for Republicans. I believe the GOP actually lost house seats but was able to keep the majority. I really don’t think the GOP will get go on the whole women’s thing though. Just my 2 cents: it’s going to take another national loss this time with a tea party candidate for the GOP base to be willing to accept some change.

      • SallyForth says:

        Thanks for correcting me on that Florida percentage, and I wasn’t sure about the House final result, which is why I said “maybe” picked up. (I guess that reduces my consultant’s fee 🙂 ) The frenzy about Latinos is still hard to understand – even though they broke 7/3 in the presidential race, they also voted in favor of numerous state and national Republican candidates around the country. The GOP needs to do some drilled-down analysis on that.

        Per published exit polling (if we can believe it after those messed-up pre-election polls), Latinos were 10% total nationwide, of which 70% went Obama. Blacks constituted 13% total nationwide, and they voted 93% for Obama. Asians constituted 3% total nationwide, and they voted 73% Obama. Given one white and one black candidate, voting against the white guy was as expected, based on previous elections in either party, as well as previous local election experiences.

        Of note is that 72% of total voters were white, and only 59% of them voted Romney. The fact that it was a 4/6 split makes a huge statement that almost half of white Americans did not vote based on skin color. The split was similar in 2008, proving changes from over half a century ago are definitely solidified. That seems worth celebrating somehow.

        • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

          “The split was similar in 2008, proving changes from over half a century ago are definitely solidified. That seems worth celebrating somehow.”

          It would most likely be worth celebrating if the guy that had won the election wasn’t so [dang] far to the left on the political spectrum, but I digress.

          Another item that may be worth noting is that roughly the same percentage of whites (roughly about 60% of whites) voted for Mitt Romney when he lost in 2012 as voted for Ronald Reagan when he won in 1980.

          The thing is that when Reagan won 60% of the white in 1980, he won the election in a landslide with nearly 51% of the popular vote, but the same roughly 60% of the white vote in 2012 only got Romney 48% of the popular vote and a electoral loss which means that there have been some very stark demographic changes that have occurred over the last 32 years in the U.S.

          Other numbers that standout:

          -The 61.8 million votes that Obama won in 2012 is also the third-highest amount of raw popular votes that a candidate has ever earned in a Presidential election all-time, behind the 62 million-plus votes that George W. Bush earned in winning the 2004 Presidential Election and the 69.4 million-plus votes that Obama won in winning the 2008 Presidential Election.

          -The 58.5 million popular votes that Mitt Romney earned in the election loss is the sixth-highest amount of popular votes that a candidate has earned all-time (only behind Obama’s 69.4 million votes in ’08, Bush’s 62 million votes in ’04, Obama’s 61.8 million votes in ’12, John McCain’s 59.9 million votes in ’08 and John Kerry’s 59 million votes in ’04).

          -As Sally mentioned above, Latinos made up 10% of the popular vote nationwide in the 2012 Presidential Election, a number that was up from the 8% of the nationwide popular vote that Latinos were in 2008.

          -Speaking of the Latino vote, roughly 50,000 Latinos turn 18 years of age every month in the U.S., a number that is reflective of their status as the fastest-growing demographic in the country.

          • SallyForth says:

            “It would most likely be worth celebrating if…..”
            LDIG, I was thinking maybe we could celebrate it by finally expiring Section V (you know, that temporary part of the VRA that was enacted to expire in 1969) and save taxpayers all the money spent by only a few states for processing and administrative costs of having to submit everything concerning state elections to the federal DOJ. It’s ridiculous to have to send things like an update on a form or change of office location to Washington for approval, plus cost more federal tax dollars to process such stupidity at the national level. Our whole nation is not what it was 67 years ago, so this ridiculousness should either apply to all states or to none.

          • John Konop says:

            Great post about the numbers , I would only add the GOP also is having a major problem with Asian Americans vote the fatest growing minority. They have the same voting patern as Lations. And Bush 2 won that vote just a few elections ago. How can you win in the west coast without Latinos and Asians in a presidential cycle? If you take California, Oregan, Washington New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada off the map how do you win? At this rate it will only take a few mid terms before it becomes a mid term issue for the GOP as well,unless they have a policy change……..

            • caroline says:

              You can’t win an election without those voters I would say. The GOP is willing to write off whole states i.e. their statements about how the states with the “good values” vote for the GOP and all minorities with statements like “if only white people could vote, we would have won with a landslide” Anecdotally what I heard from the GOP people around me is that they’d rather lose than change their stances.

          • David C says:

            One thing about Obama and Romney’s place on the all time popular vote count. That number’s still going up:

            As to the 60% white vote threshold for Romney, Reagan didn’t win that margin in 1980 (he won it 55-36-8, as part of a 51-41-7 win) but in 1984 as part of a 59-41 win over Mondale in which he won 59 states. That tells you the bigger demographic problem for the GOP. A Margin among whites that used to win you even the entire Northeast now only wins you barely more states than McCain won. This series of maps, exploring how the map would have looked if only certain groups could vote, is kind of instructive:

  4. caroline says:

    Can someone tell my why some conservatives believe that the UN controls our country? This one particular person I know said that the economy is going to get better soon because teh UN and Bill Clinton will see to it. Do they think that the Clinton Global Initiative controls the world economy too?

    If you want to look at some reasons why the GOP lost on Tuesday, you might not look any further than some of these “conservatives”. They are giving a lot of you a bad reputation.

    • xdog says:

      “Can someone tell my why some conservatives believe that the UN controls our country?”

      Cause they’re loons? That sounds reasonable to me.

      Check out the new goper senator Ted Cruz and his views on how Agenda 21 will lead to sequestration of our nations pastures and golf courses.

      With all the foofaraw about the disconnect between the gop and Hispanic speakers, expect to see a lot of Cruz in the coming months.

      • caroline says:

        Well, I know they’re nuts and apparently so do the majority of Americans.

        I wonder if Cruz will support the Dream Act?

      • John Konop says:


        The difference is a combination of mega phone and influence Rush, Beck…….have on the GOP. The crazy left most people do not hear via no audience……..

        • Baker says:

          Have you watched MSNBC? Have you seen a Meet the Press Roundtable? Have you ever read the Daily Kos? None of them may have the singular influence of Rush but Nancy Pelosi was their Speaker for crying out loud. She is as liberal as you get. At least the Republican leadership is mostly moderate. Democrats marginalize their members who are in the center and do a phenomenal job at making sure the leadership will push far liberal goals.

          The Occupy movement was filled to the brim with anarchists, socialists, and just plain crazies, but they were hailed as the Liberal answer to that racist Tea Party. I don’t agree with a boatload of Tea Party positions but the way they were portrayed in the non-Fox News, non-talk radio media was ridiculous compared to the way the Occupiers were presented.

          Moderation is the exception in the Democratic party. Extremism may have loud voices on the right but in practice the extremists have little power.

          Obama won the election for three reasons. 1) He’s an incumbent 2) An amazing turn-out machine that has been working since 2008 and 3) because he bought off Ohio with an auto-bailout that far from being successful, we’re still owed BILLions on. We’ll never make that money back and the auto companies haven’t fixed what broke them in the first place.

          • John Konop says:


            Perception is reality, at the end of the day Rush has the mega phone. I have pointed out many issues I have with liberal policies as you know on this blog. But it is time for all of us to keep it real, unless we are all honest about the situation, it will not get fixed.

            • Charlie says:

              I think you’re willfully ignoring the number of other megaphones that Baker just mentioned. If you want to keep it real, then some attempt to acknowledge that would be in order.

              • David C says:

                Sorry Charlie, but you do need to keep it real. Remember the sorry spectacle of Gingrey grovelling to Limbaugh for daring to speak ill of him? The next time a Liberal Democrat has to do that to anyone on MSNBC will be the first. And it will never happen.

                You just don’t have the closed media environment on the left that you do on the right, and that’s something that in the long run hurts the right because people like Limbaugh and Ailes don’t really care about winning elections; they care about making money. I suspect the last four years have been better for their bottom line than the previous four. Life in the opposition suits them just fine, because the people who actually govern will give them a fresh new outrage they can stir up, no matter how little basis it has in reality. If you want to keep it real, the Republican party needs to break out of its conservative media bubble to find real facts.

                And really, we’re holding up a “Meet the Press” roundtable as full of crazy liberalism? Who can forget last week’s panel of Cory Booker, Joe Scarborough, Mike Murphy, Savannah Guthrie, and Tom Brokaw. Or today’s with Joaquin Castro, Steve Schmidt, Chuck Todd, Bob Woodward and Doris Kearns Goodwin?

                As to the Occupiers, what great influence did they have in the Democratic party this year? Did I see a bunch of Occupiers running in primaries, pulling Democrats to the left? Nope. Are Democrats changing their positions and pulling themselves further and further leftward to appease that crucial Occupy flank? Nope. Did Occupy run off the Liberal equivalent of Dick Lugar, even though their chosen candidate’s extremism ultimately sent the seat to the Republicans in a state Obama won by ten points? Nope. To compare the effects of them to the tea party is to betray ignorance of the current political climate in the Republican Party, for well or ill.

                • Baker says:

                  @David: You’re right about yesterday’s MTP Roundtable, it was a good one. I’m thinking along the lines of Maddow, Schultz, Van Jones perhaps.

                  I can’t win the argument that Rush isn’t extreme and has a huge audience. But with the overwhelming majority of media being liberal in nature, I don’t think it matters. The New York Times has a pretty big influence. It’s kind of like death by a thousand cuts. Over here someone pops up and makes a casual reference about Republicans being racist or greedy. It has nothing to do with anything, but they get away with it. We turn our heads over there and try to address it, but then hey, over there, on that show on ____ channel another reference to it.

                  I agree with David that Rush and Coulter occasionally hurt the party because they care more about their bottom line (I especially think this about Coulter who rarely adds in something positive)

                  Oh, and the Occupy folks. I wasn’t referring necessarily to their influence of the party there, mainly to how they were covered.

                  • John Konop says:


                    It also the tone of the coverage, on the hard right. The Dems only high rated guy like that was Keith Olermann who no longer has a show. Olbermann loosing his show, I think really helped the Dems. The best example is I read the majority of people under 30 get their news from John Stewart Show. The tone of that show is light and funny, verse Rush……which is heavy handed……..

                    I am not talking about issues, just the manner it is presented. I am against Affirmitave Action, and think it has hurt all involved, especially in education ie students being pushed beyond their aptitude and dropping out and loosing scholarships……..Now some on the hard right would instead argue culture, handouts……Same issue two diferent ways to present the issue. The talking heads generally go for the most outrageous………And the left lost their one major megaphone Olbermann verse the right having Rush, Beck……..

                    • John Konop says:

                      One more thing had John Huntsman won the primary or if Romney did not have to play to the far right what would of been the results? His numbers got better when he sounded rational, but he got caught in a ame explaining his positions in the primary and being associated with crazy comments about rape…..

                      I wrote before he lost, that he needed to have his Clinton moment, when that happen…….but instead he was tepid, instead of making a defining point showing his independence.

      • caroline says:

        It’ s like John said. As far as I know there is not equal on the left to Rush, Coulter etc w/r/t to influence and followers.

        • Jackster says:

          I think it helps to live in a non red state to have an accurate perception.

          For instance, when i go to Chicago, there are plenty of mega phones.

          Not only that, but i find those voices on the left and right allow me to better weed out the crazies in my day to day life.

    • caroline says:

      Okay, but there are a lot of GOP voters who are deadly serious about Agenda 21. The irony is that the whole agenda 21 thing is hurting business because of zoning laws etc.

      • Jackster says:

        Huh? Zoning laws sure do come in handy when planing, and they can be a pain, but that also is why people move to different cities – because of the planning.

        • caroline says:

          I understand that they can be a pain but some of the Agenda 21 people think that rezoning laws are going to get their property taken away from them.

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