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Romney’s Post-Debate Surge Continuing, But Will It Last Past Tuesday?

Nate Silver observes that the poll surge  that Mitt Romney received after his October 3rd debate with the President appears to be continuing and possibly getting stronger:

Mitt Romney continues to surge in the FiveThirtyEight forecast, and Friday may have featured his best set of polls all year.

The best way to track a change in the polls is to look for instances in which the same firm has surveyed the same state (or the national race) multiple times. The FiveThirtyEight forecast model relies on a procedure very much like this to calculate the overall trend in the race.

Fifteen polls were released on Friday that provided a comparison with another survey conducted between the Democratic convention and last week’s debate in Denver. Mr. Romney gained an average of 4.6 percentage points in these surveys.

That is actually a bit larger than we were showing earlier in the week, when the same exercise put Mr. Romney’s postdebate bounce more in the range of three or four percentage points.

It is not clear whether Mr. Romney is still gaining ground — or whether he benefited from a couple of outlying results. The median change in the polls, which will be less sensitive to potential outliers, was a three-point gain for Mr. Romney, more like earlier in the week.

But unlike earlier, Mr. Romney is now seeing some of his best results in swing state polls. Six of the seven polls published on Friday from such states had him ahead.

Thus, just as the hypothesis of a fading Romney bounce was damaged on Friday, so was the idea (which we critiqued in an earlier post) that his gains would be more modest in the swing states.

This observation comes a day after Silver observed that the President’s lead in the swing states wasn’t as solid as some analysts seem to believe it is:

[A]lthough we do perceive some advantage for Mr. Obama in the Electoral College relative to the popular vote, I would caution our readers against thinking that it’s all that robust.

The Florida poll, which was conducted by Mason-Dixon, a good polling firm, showed Mr. Romney with a lead and was a helpful reminder of this. Mr. Obama probably does not trail in Florida by seven points. Some other polls published this week showed him with a small lead there. But there is reason to think that he has become the underdog, since Mr. Obama led in Florida by two or three points before the debates and because Mr. Romney’s bounce since then has been a little larger than that. In fact, the FiveThirtyEight forecast had flipped to calling Mr. Romney a slight favorite in Florida a couple of days ago.

There is stronger evidence that Mr. Obama still leads in Ohio, since that state has been polled quite richly. But while recent polls that use traditional methodologies have shown Mr. Obama with leads of four and six points in Ohio, a series of automated polls have shown the race in Ohio as a near-tie instead. The FiveThirtyEight “now-cast” estimates that Mr. Obama would have a two-in-three chance of winning an election in Ohio held today.

Even if one grants Ohio to Mr. Obama, however, that would not seal victory for him. He would still need to win some other combination of states; his path of least resistance probably flows through Wisconsin, and then either Iowa or Nevada.

Iowa, in particular, is a crucial state that has been thinly polled all year. (The FiveThirtyEight model, in fact, calculates that Iowa is slightly more essential to the Electoral College than Florida, despite having many fewer electoral votes.) There has been just one poll of Iowa since the debates, and while it gave Mr. Obama the lead, it was an automated poll that probably does not merit too much weight.

So where does the race stand at this point? According to RealClearPolitcs, the national polls continue to move in Mitt Romney’s favor. He’s got a +1.3 lead in their poll average, and he’s led or scored a tie in every poll RCP considers since October 4th. Since it seems unlikely that the Vice-Presidential Debate is going to end up having much of an impact on the polls, we can expect things to continue in this positive direction at least up through Tuesday’s debate in Hempstead, New York. The same is likely to be true in the swing states, where we’ve seen Romney pick up ground in state like Ohio, Virginia, and Florida and, most surprisingly, in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Now, obviously, the trend isn’t going to continue for Romney in this manner forever. The debate on Tuesday could very well end up having the same impact on the race that the Denver debate did, for one thing, which means we’d at least end up seeing some of these traditionally Democratic states back into Obama’s column. At this point, I find it unlikely that Romney really is competitive in Michigan or Pennsylvania, for example. However, if I’m proven wrong that he continues to gain in these states then the Obama campaign could have a problem on its hands.

In the Electoral College, things certainly do look much better for Romney than they did at the start of the month:

This is the largest number of toss-up states that we’ve seen in quite some time, but as I noted above I question whether Michigan and Pennsylvania actually belong there at this point. Giving those two states to Obama raises his projected take to 237 and reduces the number of toss-up votes to 128. This requires Romney to win some 69% of the remaining electoral votes, while Obama would only need to win 26% of the remaining votes. Absent a major collapse in the polls by the President, then, it still strikes me that he is in a far better position than Romney in the Electoral College. Under this scenario, the President could lose Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio and still be in good position to win given his strengths in states like Iowa and Nevada. If he wins both of those states, he’d only need to pick up either Wisconsin or Colorado, both states he won in 2008. Romney, on the other hand, would have to win Virginia and then either Colorado, Wisconsin, or New Hampshire, all states that the GOP lost in 2008. Given that path, I’d still rather be in President’s position than Mitt Romney’s at the moment.

There’s no question that the October 3rd debate changed the dynamics of this race significantly. Without that debate performance, we’d likely be writing some variation on the “Mitt Romney is doomed” story and we’d be seeing down ballot Republicans distancing themselves from the national ticket. If Romney does end up pulling off a victory, then we’ll be able to point to that debate as the point at which his campaign began to turn around and head to victory. There are, however, still 24 days until the election and two more debates left. After the panic that his debate performance last week caused, I am certain that we’re going to see a far different Barack Obama in these next two debates, and that could end up having a major impact on the race. Indeed, a week from today we could all be talking about the “Obama Comeback.” Mitt Romney’s been given an opportunity here, whether he can make anything out of it remains to be seen.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    I mentioned this article in another thread:

    Change Theory and Small Responders

    It offers some interesting ideas on what changes minds:

    Cass Sunstein recently wrote that it’s largely “surprising validators” that change their viewers or readers opinions. This means, for example, that all my evidence against supply-side, trickle-down economics won’t convince anyone who’s not with me already. For that to happen, Kudlow or Laffer would have to repudiate it. Don’t hold your breath.

    That might explain why Clinton could say that Obama was effective as anyone could have been on the economy, and it could matter, because it was a surprising validator. Everybody knows that Clinton doesn’t really like Obama.

    Still, as Bernstein says:

    I think the answer comes down to the VPs point that facts matter, though given that I’m in the facts’ business, that’s a predictable place for folks like me to land. But given small responses, the weakening of key institutions, money in politics, and balkanized media, the barriers which facts have to clear to reach the people seem higher than ever.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. Geek, Esq. says:

    One hypothesis is that we’ll revert to 2004 type of electorate. Obama’s gains vs Kerry were not uniform–he gained disproportionately in places like Indiana, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa, and Nevada. Voters in those states may in effect revert to a mean–remember that Wisconsin was incredibly close in 2004.

    How does this make sense given demographics? Obama depends on a broad coalition of low turnout voters. What may ultimately be his undoing may be the failure of young voters to turn out. They voted for him in 2008 because he was the bright shiny voice of change. When it’s a contest based on policy differences, young voters typically would rather play Xbox than vote. This is what happened in 2010–big parts of the Obama coalition just stayed home.

    As we’ve seen in this campaign, the inspirational, charismatic Obama has been replaced by a somber, restrained Obama. And Democratic enthusiasm is lagging. Coincidence?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  3. Ron Beasley says:

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 4

  4. Geek, Esq. says:

    @john personna:

    The reason Clinton was so effective is that Clinton was so effective. The man has a talent for communicating policy in every day language that no one in either party has–he’s at once accessible, entertaining, and informative.

    He doesn’t hate Obama. Jerry Brown, on the other hand . . .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  5. john personna says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    Clinton was effective, but there are certain things no one can say about themselves.

    Obama could not say “I did as much as any President could have done in the face of the worst recession in the last 70 years.” That would be written off as apologetic whining.

    On the other hand, Clinton could say “He did as much as any President could have done in the face of the worst recession in the last 70 years.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  6. Herb says:

    Indeed, a week from today we could all be talking about the “Obama Comeback.”

    Yeah, not so sure……

    I suspect if this happens, it won’t be billed as an “Obama Comeback” but a “Romney Meltdown.” Such are the perils of the expectation game.

    Then we’ll be back to “debates don’t matter” and “the polls are skewed.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  7. Clanton says:

    Debate question: Would you declassify all documents and emails concerning the Libyan Embassy Massacre? How about all documents before 1980 that are still classified, including those that date back to the Civil War?
    Here is my debate arrangement: no moderator, question cards filled out by the audience are placed in a bag and picked out by the candidates. They will then discuss them in a civilized manner. No TV! Radio only.
    The other night’s “show” was pure high camp, comparable to the famous “kitchen debate “between Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev. I half expected Biden to take off his shoe and bang on the table with it!
    I will not watch anymore amateur theatrics. And the questions are totally irrelevant, of course.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 11

  8. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: Clinton was effective, but there are certain things no one can say about themselves.

    Excuse me, but are you accusing Obama of modesty?

    Pardon me, but….

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

    (gasp, wheeze…)

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

    Stop, you’re killing me…

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 30

  9. Geek, Esq. says:

    @john personna:

    Clinton had no trouble promoting himself in 1996.

    Clinton is rather shameless, which is an almost essential trait for Presidential candidates.

    At the last debate, Romney and Obama’s disparity in shamelessness effectively meant Obama was fighting with one hand tied.

    Hopefully he’s gotten over that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  10. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    More evidence of epistemic closure.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  11. Geek, Esq. says:

    @Herb:

    I agree. Townhall format doesn’t allow for much points scoring, but the potential for a gaffe or awkwardness is greater. We’ll see if Romney bets anyone $10,000 this he’ll create more jobs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. john personna says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    I think Obama’s problem at the last debate was different. I think he heard concessions and changes on the other side, and “check boxed” them in his mind as a win. He thought listeners would do the same. Some of us did. I did.

    Unfortunately too many listeners missed them, and so he needs to spike the ball a little bit more.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  13. Ron Beasley says:

    The week in lies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 6

  14. JKB says:

    Do you really think the rest of the debates matter? Romney got clear of the MSM distortion and showed himself presidential material.

    Now, Obama has the intel and senior career diplomatic service organizing to refute the White House lies over Obama’s complete incompetence in the Libya attack.

    Plus, although the MSM will probably keep this down, the IRS has just stood up in court calling the Solyndra bankruptcy a scheme for the owners to avoid paying taxes after they scammed the taxpayers with the Obama administration’s help.

    …the IRS claims that Solyndra’s reorganization plan proposed in court is little more than an avenue for owners of an empty corporate shell to avoid paying taxes. “The undeniable conclusion is that tax benefits drive this plan,” attorneys for the IRS wrote in a bankruptcy pleading.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 21

  15. Clivesl says:

    I could be wrong, but I don’t remember Obama ever having to debate from behind before. In the primaries he jumped out to an early lead and did just well enough in debates to hold off Clinton. In the general, he was A) debating John McCain and B) riding the worst economic collapse in recent memory. In both cases, his debate performance had to be good enough and no more. I don’t recall him ever getting glowing reviews in ’08, but then I am old and forgetful.

    It will be interesting to see how he performs debating with the election on the line. He basically needs to reverse the impression not only of himself, but of Romney as well. In effect, he not only needs the debate performance of his life, but he needs Romney to have a horrible debate if he is going to change perceptions.

    I think this is a tall order for any candidate. There is a reason that we have never seen a debate swing polling the way this most recent has, it was kind of a perfect storm of a solid performance on one hand and a miserable performance on the other. I for one can’t remember a debate like it. What are the chances of it happening again in reverse?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  16. Herb says:

    @JKB:

    “Now, Obama has the intel and senior career diplomatic service organizing to refute the White House lies over Obama’s complete incompetence in the Libya attack. “

    Keep flogging that horse, bud……Eventually it will get you home.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  17. Just Me says:

    There is no way PA is going to vote for Romney but I also am willing to bet NC doesn’t vote for Obama either.

    I still think Obama is likely to win, however I also think Romney was able to show himself well and voters responded positively at a time when things aren’t going too well for the Obama (Benghazi, the economy, gas prices etc).

    My gut still believes Obama pulls out the win, but I think it is going to be closer both popular vote and electoral college vote than I thought this summer.

    Obama still seems to have the easier path to electoral victory and he still has the luxury of writing off a few of the close states to put more money into toss ups he can win, while Romney doesn’t have the luxury of writing any of the toss ups off, he still pretty much has to run the table (although I do not include PA as a real toss up-I will be absolutely shocked if PA votes for Romney).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  18. Geek, Esq. says:

    @john personna:

    That was half the debate. He could have squared that off by pointing out 47%, Bain capital outsourcing, 800 vetoes as Massachusetts governor.

    Then he could have talked about what he had done and would do for the country–in a coherent, optimistic way. Instead we got mush.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  19. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    Yeah! Between Solyndra and PBS that balances the budget, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  20. john personna says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    I was joking before the debate about meds. I assume everyone is on anti-anxiety drugs (maybe not Romney for religious reasons?), and I assume that Rick Perry’s poor performance (“3 departments”) was someone getting his meds wrong.

    Maybe they got Obama’s meds wrong?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  21. David M says:

    @JKB:

    Do you honestly believe routine security requests for a consulate go to the president? Looking at the list of embassies and consulates I doubt it’s likely to be part of the president’s job.

    And your Solyndra conspiracy is equally ridiculous, as the government (IRS) is actually objecting to the proposed settlement. How do you twist the IRS objecting to something to the Obama Administration supporting it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  22. Herb says:

    @john personna:

    “Yeah! Between Solyndra and PBS that balances the budget, right?”

    Ha. I love hearing about Solyndra from wingers. They think it’s one of those stories that would be really important if only the liberal media would stop suppressing it.

    Um….no. That’s not why no one gives a rip about Solyndra. It’s just not that important. It’s certainly not important enough to bring down a presidency……….

    Smarten up, guys. Solyndra is a pop gun and you think it’s a tactical nuke.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  23. anjin-san says:

    showed himself presidential material.

    Actually, he showed himself to be a talented salesman with closing skills – not a great surprise considering his business background.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2

  24. wr says:

    @JKB: How much do rabid righties hate the black president? So much that they’ve accepted the IRS as their new champion of truth and justice.

    My head hurts.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  25. bandit says:

    @wr: Good racist projection. If you want to see a racist take a look in the mirror. The only people interested in the presidents race are the ones who want to use it as an excuse for his failures. People don’t dislike Obama because he’s black. They don’t want him to be President because he’s an incompetent failure.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 18

  26. Janis Gore says:

    @JKB: Romney is OK. It’s his coattails that trouble me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  27. john personna says:

    @bandit:

    You can’t really make a rational case for failure though, can you? You just hit and run with bad one or two liners. You only have a “failure” that is accepted within the epistemically closed universe that is the anti-intellectual right wing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  28. Herb says:

    @john personna:

    You only have a “failure” that is accepted within the epistemically closed universe that is the anti-intellectual right wing.

    Yup….seems like this is definitely a case of “Obama is a failure because he is a Democrat.”

    Sorry, Bandit. Obama cut your taxes and killed Osama Bin Laden. I’m sorry he failed to give you a pony, but you kind of have to do that stuff yourself…….

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  29. john personna says:

    @Herb:

    Sorry, Bandit. Obama cut your taxes and killed Osama Bin Laden. I’m sorry he failed to give you a pony, but you kind of have to do that stuff yourself…….

    Heh.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  30. wr says:

    @bandit: You forgot to say “neener neener neener.” That would have made your response much more clever and sophisticated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  31. David M says:

    At least part of Romney’s polling improvement is likely due to differences in voter intensity, so Obama can address that with better debate performances. Based on the Obama campaign’s superior organization, if they are even in the polls I’d assume that’s still a slight advantage to Obama, so the current polling isn’t anything that Obama can’t come back from.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  32. bk says:

    @wr:

    You forgot to say “neener neener neener.”

    I think he had a different “n” word in mind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  33. bk says:

    Shorter Bandit: People who use dog whistles aren’t racist. People who point that out are the real racists.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  34. Herb says:

    @john personna:

    “Heh.”

    Seriously, man…sometimes I wonder what GOP supporters want.

    And then I remember that, among other things, they wanted Sarah Palin to be Vice President. Before they settled on Romney, they seriously considered as nominees Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain.

    And then they want to question my judgement? Don’t make me laugh…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  35. Steve says:

    Powerful new Pro Life ad is out “Who is the abortion extremist”?

    http://commoncts.blogspot.com/2012/10/who-is-abortion-extremeist-women-speak.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  36. JKB says:

    @David M:

    Routine security requests, no. But the testimony revealed what seemed like a political decision not to extend the security force in country. They people on the ground made the request anyway. But the real issue is, during and after the attack, the President would have been briefed in full, if he’d had his briefings. So if Obama, Biden and the WH didn’t know, it was because they weren’t reading the briefing papers or making time for the in-person briefings.

    In any case, an Ambassador murdered, terrorist attack on American soil(diplomatic facility), and the President tried to blame it all on a bad video, apologized rather than stood against the enemy. That matters.

    Solyndra is the poster child for the cronyism of the Obama administration. That the owners are trying to abscond with more tax dollars is just the icing on the top. When will Obama say they should pay their fair share? And oddly, it would be our tax dollars Obama put in their pocket they would be paying back to us as taxes.

    But back to the post, the debates won’t matter unless Obama blows it again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  37. Janis Gore says:

    If somebody would just send me the damn boots, I could make up my mind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  38. David M says:

    @JKB:

    You’re simply making assumptions about things you have no knowledge of. There’s no other way to put it. You have no evidence there Solyndra was “cronyism” and no evidence that Obama is not informed about Libya because he is skipping security briefings, in addition to you obviously having absolutely no idea of what information the security briefings contain.

    In short, your making up reasons to dislike Obama.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  39. john personna says:

    @JKB, @David M:

    Not to mention, Republicans support far larger oil and gas subsidies.

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  40. An Interested Party says:

    Do you really think the rest of the debates matter? Romney got clear of the MSM distortion and showed himself presidential material.

    Someone else who thinks that everything related to the election ended on the night of October 3rd…keep hope alive…

    In any case, an Ambassador murdered, terrorist attack on American soil(diplomatic facility), and the President tried to blame it all on a bad video, apologized rather than stood against the enemy. That matters.

    Lies matter too…lies like accusing the President of “apologizing”…once again, if you are so outraged about this attack, how outraged were you with Bush when 9/11 happened?

    But back to the post, the debates won’t matter unless Obama blows it again.

    Ahhh, more of the everything is frozen in time from October 3rd drivel…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  41. JKB says:

    @David M:

    Obama, Clinton and Rice all peddled the lie about the video being responsible. So either they weren’t staying informed or they purposely sought to promote a story to cover up this attack upon the United States. Take your pick.

    Now, they are promoting the theory that some mid-level bureaucrats made all the decisions. Either that is a lie to cover it up or an admission that they can’t manage the federal bureaucracy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  42. Herb says:

    @JKB:

    “Either that is a lie to cover it up or an admission that they can’t manage the federal bureaucracy. “

    Or….or….or they’re keeping their mouth shut about what really happened because loose lips sink ships and if they tell the media the “True WHOLE story” the media will tell everyone, including the bad guys. Which will make destroying them more difficult than it needs to be.

    This is one you’ll read about in the history books. Not the front page. Obama won’t come out looking rosy. But then again, no one does in matters of life and death such as these.

    And I have to say…the opposition has made it more difficult for the administration to be forthright on the subject. It’s campaign season, yes, but Mitt Romney should have had the intelligence to shut up about it. His move didn’t earn him any points and unfortunately for the blog comment community, it cued the apologists into this “cover-up” crap.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  43. An Interested Party says:

    And I have to say…the opposition has made it more difficult for the administration to be forthright on the subject.

    Indeed…this is of the same piece as conservatives complaining that the President can’t be bipartisan…well of course he can’t be bipartisan as long as Republicans in Congress are united in working against anything he wants to do…Mitch McConnell made that very clear two years ago…if Republicans/conservatives want the Obama Administration to tell them anything, perhaps they shouldn’t politicize everything that the Obama Administration says…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  44. jan says:

    @Herb:

    loose lips sink ships and if they tell the media the “True WHOLE story” the media will tell everyone, including the bad guys.

    That advice was more worthy of being applied after the OBL killing, along with not going into any immediate details about the mission or the team involved in that mission. If they had held that info, for even 48-72 hours, it would have given intelligence time to quickly go over the hard drives and info taken from OBL’s compound. But that didn’t happen because Obama wanted immediate glory and public gratification for taking this man out.

    OTOH, when it comes to Benghazi, it is an entirely different matter, as it seems to involve a screw-up, an oversight, bungling, and something Obama wants to downplay, especially before the election. BTW, that’s ‘politicizing’ an issue.

    However, this Benghazi issue is not going away. In fact some of the major liberal news media, like the NYT, is even being forced to play ball and get involved with some inquisitive reporting. Ed Kline is now saying that Obama appears to be shifting blame towards the State Department and Hillary Clinton, in his attempt to escape any accountability. Other people are saying that these requests for more security would probably have made their way up into the National Security Council, which in turn would have gone into the President’s own Intelligence Briefing Book. In other words, any notion that the president didn’t know much, seems to be getting more and more unlikely.

    Now, you have Biden continuing with such a meme in his VP debate, which is looking like either a lie, ineptness on the part of the Obama Administration, or a breakdown in their intelligence system that should work, but doesn’t. Anyway you cut it, though, it’s going to boil down to a failure on Obama’s part.

    …and, I think it will become a major factor in this presidential election, as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  45. lageorgia says:

    @bandit: Odd for you to say that. Just go over to Fox Nation and read the very racist posts by you conservatives calling President Obama every name in the book. Nice try though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  46. john personna says:

    You know what this reminds me of? That whole crazy, smirk filled, news conference where Romney accused the President of sympathizing with the enemy. Mitt did that before bodies cooled. You can’t get lower than that, can you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  47. Scott O says:

    @jan: Do you think Ed Kline is insane or just a shameless opportunist?

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Obama-Identity-Novel-Or/dp/1453792899

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  48. David M says:

    @jan:

    Ed Kline can always be ignored, always and forever. At this point I’m not sure what the point behind the complaints about Benghazi actually are, although I think it means the president is a Democrat.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  49. Herb says:

    @jan:

    “But that didn’t happen because Obama wanted immediate glory and public gratification for taking this man out.”

    Nope, sorry. Obama didn’t say peep until the mission was completed. I distinctly remember him standing at a dais, making fun of Donald Trump’s birtherism, never once hinting that he was also hard at work killing America’s enemy #1.

    The fact that Obama sought credit after the fact is no surprise as killing Bin Laden is entirely creditable.

    If you’ll remember, there were the same disputed details, the same unknowns, the same revisions in the OBL story. Was he armed? Did he fight back? Who pulled the trigger?

    I really get the sense that many right-wingers, out of sheer political convenience, expect the history of the Obama Administration to be written by their press releases. That’s not how it works.

    However, this Benghazi issue is not going away.

    Of that, I have no doubt. There’s too much interest in pinning the blame on Obama, especially in an election season in which millions of people want to see him replaced.

    However……..that does not mean this is a “winning issue’ for Republicans. Unless they think the “Blame America First” vote is going to put them over the top….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  50. Tsar Nicholas says:

    I stopped reading at “Nate Silver.”

    Speaking of which, let’s not fall for the meme that that 1st debate somehow had such a colossal impact. Debates really are not that important.

    The elephant in the room is that Obama never had a big lead. Those media polls from September were garbage. Generally speaking they were undersampling whites, oversampling young people, undersampling the age 40-49 demographic and for good measure substantially oversampling Democrats. They were selling an agenda, not reporting reality. At some point, however, the canard simply could not continue. Obama’s performance in that debate was so piss poor that it became a trigger point for letting reality seep through the agenda filters.

    That all said, it’s not as if the debate had no effect. Obviously it did. But it wasn’t the effect over which the chattering classes now are obsessing. What that debate did was to have crystallized and confirmed what people in droves already had concluded: Obama wasn’t ready for prime time and it was a colossal mistake in the first instance to have elected him.

    That all said, Obama still very much could win this election. Debate or no debate he’ll still receive absolute lock step voting margins from the various Democrat victim and identity groups. Millions of evangelicals still will sit out the election. Virginia is a state with a much higher than average percentage of blacks and to boot large numbers of young students and federal government workers and contractors. Ohio is a state with a huge union population and a militant black demographic. Iowa in presidential elections historically is a Democrat state. Old habits are hard to break. In Colorado there is a very large population of Latinos, now becoming another lock step Democrat identity group. At worst Obama still has several bps less than a coin flip chance of winning a 2nd term.

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  51. john personna says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    I stopped reading at “I stopped reading.”

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  52. jan says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    That all said, Obama still very much could win this election. Debate or no debate he’ll still receive absolute lock step voting margins from the various Democrat victim and identity groups

    It’s too bad JP stopped reading your post, as it has a well-articulated perspective. Whether one agrees with it or not, it does give a sensible analysis outside of either the democratic or republican spin machines.

    I have no illusions about Obama and his democratic party, in that they will run the board of what it takes to win. If it means vile, corrupt tactics, they will do it. If it means demonizing and talking trash about your opponent (forget whether it’s true or not), they will do it. If it means talking over, interrupting, distracting from the issues, projecting the blame onto others to protect the president, they will do it. It is a big obstacle course for Romney to weave his way through. There’s lots of land mines and dishonest propaganda to circumvent — and he has to do it with civility, clarity of mind, while maintaining his own set of principles and values.

    Usually the attack dogs win, as they simply chew up their opponents. The squeaky wheel gets the front page news and attention. So, I think that Obama certainly has the advantage, despite what the polls say. It all depends whether or not more non-politically-possessed people are able to see through the democratic smoke screen and choose the candidate who best fits their own POV and direction they want this country’s government to take — be it to become bigger or smaller.

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  53. jan says:

    @Herb:

    Nope, sorry. Obama didn’t say peep until the mission was completed. I distinctly remember him standing at a dais, making fun of Donald Trump’s birtherism, never once hinting that he was also hard at work killing America’s enemy #1.

    That’s what I said, that Obama came out right after the mission was completed. His ego isn’t that out of control that he would have come out before the mission was done. The military, however, wanted more time to analyze what they had taken from the compound before the mission was revealed to the public. In this way, they may have been able to go after others before it was globally known that OBL was dead, at the hands of the Americans.

    Obama may or may not lose the election because of Benghazi, as he is wily enough that he may be able to stall the full impact of Benghazi until after he is elected. But, the stink from this will eventually land full force on him, and he will become a discredited president, either out of office or in it. Much like Watergate, or the Plume affair, Iran Hostage crisis, Benghazigate will become a historical negative on Obama’s legacy, as well it should.

    And, while Obama was quick to tell the world about taking out OBL, he has been equally slow to deal with the truth about Benghazi. Two weeks after the attack there, Obama was still selling the story, in his UN speech, that it was the internet film that caused the uprising there, giving him a platform to apologize rather than take issue with the violence there.

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  54. john personna says:

    This is why Jan and her flock talk so much about Benghazi:

    Noah Millman hit on one of the key weaknesses of the policy arguments of Romney and Ryan:

    “The contrast was especially true in foreign policy, where Ryan raised almost no substantive objectives to the President’s policy but repeatedly asserted that the President “appeared” weak because he “called Assad a reformer” or “announced a deadline for withdrawal” or “didn’t stand up for American values,” but it wasn’t limited to that area. In domestic policy as well, Ryan repeatedly resorted to formulations suggesting that announcing a goal – 4% economic growth, for example – was the same as articulating a policy.”

    This has become a campaign of small ideas.

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  55. An Interested Party says:

    Obama wasn’t ready for prime time and it was a colossal mistake in the first instance to have elected him.

    Talk about selling an agenda and not reporting reality…

    …from the various Democrat victim and identity groups.

    That’s really rich coming from someone who whines about the liberal media conspiracy…I see that yet again, you are projecting…

    Ohio is a state with…a militant black demographic.

    Oh my…once again the Black Panther Party will come through for their brother…

    In Colorado there is a very large population of Latinos, now becoming another lock step Democrat identity group.

    If the Republican Party and many conservatives didn’t rhetorically treat Hispanics like trash, perhaps the GOP might have a chance to pick up more of their votes…

    It’s too bad JP stopped reading your post, as it has a well-articulated perspective. Whether one agrees with it or not, it does give a sensible analysis outside of either the democratic or republican spin machines.

    Bullshit…that drivel from him is Republican/conservative spin at its worst…

    If it means vile, corrupt tactics, they will do it. If it means demonizing and talking trash about your opponent (forget whether it’s true or not), they will do it. If it means talking over, interrupting, distracting from the issues, projecting the blame onto others to protect the president, they will do it.

    Oh, so you’re saying they’ve learned well from Lee Atwater and Karl Rove…

    But, the stink from this will eventually land full force on him, and he will become a discredited president, either out of office or in it. Much like Watergate, or the Plume affair, Iran Hostage crisis, Benghazigate will become a historical negative on Obama’s legacy, as well it should.

    Using that standard, George W. Bush is one of the worst presidents in this country’s history, as 9/11 happened on his watch…

    In domestic policy as well, Ryan repeatedly resorted to formulations suggesting that announcing a goal – 4% economic growth, for example – was the same as articulating a policy.

    This is hardly surprising coming from the crew that tells us they want to cut taxes and balance the budget, but won’t tell us how they are going to achieve that miracle…

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  56. wr says:

    @jan: “The military, however, wanted more time to analyze what they had taken from the compound before the mission was revealed to the public.”

    The military wanted? All of the military? Part of the military? Perhaps those members of the military who whisper into your ear late at night?

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  57. David M says:

    @jan:

    The military, however, wanted more time to analyze what they had taken from the compound before the mission was revealed to the public. In this way, they may have been able to go after others before it was globally known that OBL was dead, at the hands of the Americans.

    Is there really an alternate history where the following didn’t happen? 1) The attack was tweeted live by an observer, 2) a crashed helicopter that was blown up and left behind, 3) Pakistan was aware of what had happened and 4) a large number of members of the military knew. Keeping something like this quiet was never going to work.

    And given that you believe and push obvious nonsense about the OBL raid, why should your opinion about Benghazi be taken seriously?

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  58. jan says:

    @An Interested Party:

    This is hardly surprising coming from the crew that tells us they want to cut taxes and balance the budget, but won’t tell us how they are going to achieve that miracle…

    I know it’s a major theme around here to re-hash how Romney lacks specifics in his economic plan (even though your guy is even less specific in what he wants to do, other than tax away at the rich, and have imaginary spending cuts). Despite all the arrows pointed at Romney’s explanations, though, he manages to get more than 500 economists, 5 Nobel Laureates, to back his plan. Their reasons are ennumerated in the article.

    Even CNN Money posts a piece saying that economists reluctantly pick Romney as being the better candidate for the economy.

    Just to address your redundant criticism of no deduction specifics about Romney’s plan: he and Ryan have repeatedly said that the specifics would be worked out with Congress as to what and/or how much would be reduced in deductions. Given that 2/3rds of federal taxpayers don’t itemize deductions, these taxpayers (most being in the middle and lower brackets) would not be effected by these deduction cuts. It is the other third, high middle income and beyond, who could take fewer deductions and have their lowered tax margins apply to a higher net income, which would probably have them pay a similar bottom line of income tax as their old margins, with deductions, did.

    However, there has been some talk about having State Income taxes be put under the deduction ax, which would effect big blue states, supporting democratic proposals for higher state income taxes, like CA, NY, ILL. So, I guess it would all work out so that a state’s ideology would then be put into practice at the federal cash register.

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  59. David M says:

    @jan:

    Despite all the arrows pointed at Romney’s explanations, though, he manages to get more than 500 economists, 5 Nobel Laureates, to back his plan. Their reasons are ennumerated in the article.

    That’s a good reason to never, ever take those 500 seriously again. The Romney plan is a known fraud, so those 500 are simply announcing they are Republicans and will support the idea that 2+2=7 if asked.

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  60. jan says:

    @David M:

    And given that you believe and push obvious nonsense about the OBL raid, why should your opinion about Benghazi be taken seriously?

    Get serious yourself. The only spin going on is coming from the likes of yourself. Just like Obama’s team is spinning what happened in Benghazi, for over a month now, despite, on-the-ground reports that differ, video footage that differs, email retrivals that differ, they could have spun the OBL story for just a few days, until the military gave them the go-ahead to make a public announcement. Again…only a few days….

    Your own credibility just goes down the tubes the more you denigrate others for their real concerns about how this critical issue, people dying, is being mishandled with misinformation being flung out from the WH, from 9/11 to the present 10/14. Ironically, the left has never dropped their mantra that ‘Bush lied, people died,’ regarding the misinformation on WMDs, even though responsible people like Colin Powell and others said they were given bad intelligence, and the error made about WMDs was not a perpetrated lie, per se. You didn’t believe that line of thinking, but when it comes to the obvious lies and mishandling of Benghazi you just shug your shoulders and stand by your man. Well, get over it, because “Obama lied, and people died,” just like with Bush.

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  61. john personna says:

    @jan:

    Despite all the arrows pointed at Romney’s explanations, though, he manages to get more than 500 economists, 5 Nobel Laureates, to back his plan. Their reasons are ennumerated in the article.

    The “reason” is simple, Jan. You can either study Romney’s plan, or you can believe Romney’s promise that he’ll work it all out later. The people Romney cites do a switcheroo. They look at his plan, see no details, and say “well, we believe his promise.”

    He counts on “low information voters” not catching the switch.

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  62. jan says:

    @David M:

    No, you’re the one to not be taken seriously…again. Your rebuttals are simplistically one-dimensional.

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  63. john personna says:

    @jan:

    Well, get over it, because “Obama lied, and people died,” just like with Bush.

    That is not just offensive, it is deeply wrong. There is no reason to believe that the President should have been micromanaging security in Libya.

    Again, we all knew at the time that Stevens hopped a freighter into a war zone. Did you call then for him to be removed, for his own safety? It was public knowledge. You and the hand-wringers on the right could have called for it then.

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  64. David M says:

    @jan:
    You are correct that pointing out that 2+2=7 is false is a simple exercise, what isn’t explained is why you choose to believe that 2+2=7.

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  65. David M says:

    Also, regarding those 500 “economists” Republicans that support Romney, if they are going to include people with no credibility, then the whole list isn’t credible. Ignoring Kevin Hasset, author of Dow 36,000 is just common sense.

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  66. Mr Replica says:

    From the Economist.
    Asking the experts
    Our admittedly unscientific poll offers cheer to both candidates

    Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have spent many months and hundreds of millions of dollars trying to convince the public that electing the other man would lead to economic catastrophe. They have fought to a draw: voters today are almost evenly split over which man would do a better job on the economy.

    But whom would the experts pick? To find out, The Economist polled hundreds of professional academic and business economists. Our main finding should hearten Mr Obama. By a large margin they rate his overall economic plan more highly than Mr Romney’s, credit him with a better grasp of economics, and think him more likely to appoint a good economic team (see chart). They do not hold the perpetually disappointing recovery against him; half of respondents graded his record as good or very good, compared with just 5% who said that about George Bush in our poll four years ago. “It all depends on the counterfactual,” said Justin Wolfers, an economist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, referring to how bad things might have been without the president’s emergency measures.

    But Mr Romney can take heart from a deeper dive into the numbers. The Economist polled two groups: research associates of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the country’s leading organisation of academic economists; and the outlook panel of the National Association for Business Economics. The academics gave Mr Obama much higher marks than Mr Romney, which may in part reflect partisan preference: fully 45% of them identified themselves as Democrats, and just 7% as Republicans.

    By contrast, the forecasters, a much less partisan crowd, consistently assigned Mr Romney higher scores. Democrats and Republicans were equally represented in this group, at 22% each. Roughly half of both groups were either independent or declined to state an affiliation. Among these independents, and these are probably the most compelling numbers, Mr Obama’s platform still got a higher grade than Mr Romney’s, but by a much smaller margin than in the group as a whole. The independents, by a slim margin, thought Mr Obama would name a better economic team, but also believed that Mr Romney has the better grasp of economics.

    While we cannot claim that this is a scientific sampling of economists’ opinions, our sample is reasonably large: 312 of the 902 NBER research associates responded, as did 51, around half, of the NABE forecast panel’s members.

    Devilish details

    Interestingly, opinions of Mr Obama became less favourable as questions turned from the general to the specific. On tax reform, entitlements (Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare) and the deficit, respondents gave the two men roughly equal grades. The independents, by a clear margin, preferred Mr Romney’s approach to all these issues. So although the public on balance dislikes the proposal of Mr Romney and Paul Ryan, his running-mate, to convert Medicare to vouchers, our economists were much better disposed to it, especially in comparison with Mr Obama, who has offered no overall solution to the programme’s insolvency other than to to cut fees to providers and experiment with new ways to deliver care. “Medicare plan? Keep everything as is and wait for Santa Claus?” snorted one independent.

    Of Mr Romney’s promise to cut income-tax rates by 20% and pay for it by closing loopholes, John McLaren, a Democratic economist from the University of Virginia, said: “The only plausible result is a tax cut for high-income taxpayers, a tax increase for middle-income earners, and a huge increase in the deficit.” But Mr Obama’s alternative, a patchwork of tax hikes on corporations and the rich, did not garner much enthusiasm either. His “support for tax reform is positive but of questionable sincerity given his ‘commitment’ to impose higher marginal rates on higher incomes,” one Republican noted.

    On two specific issues, economists—both the full sample and the independents—clearly preferred Mr Obama: by 58% to 10% they thought he would handle China better than Mr Romney, and by 63% to 15% they thought he would make wiser appointments to the Federal Reserve. Like many past candidates, Mr Romney has been confrontational towards China on the campaign trail, promising to label it a currency manipulator on his first day in office, which went over badly with perhaps the only segment of the electorate that is solidly pro-free trade. “We have to assume Romney is lying about most of his plans,” one Republican academic observed.

    Many who dislike Mr Obama’s policies disagree on their flaws. Several people who gave low marks to the 2009 stimulus bill accused it of being too small; others, like Dartmouth’s Eric Zitzewitz, thought that “the lack of attention to efficiency undermined both the first stimulus’s effectiveness, and the political will for a second stimulus.” Many critics of the president’s health reforms would have preferred a single-payer system. One Democratic academic said a “complete overhaul [was] needed, not a Band-aid.”

    The president’s least popular policy was his financial-reform package—though critics again disagreed on why. Laurence Ball of Johns Hopkins blamed Mr Obama for failing to “put up much of a fight against Wall Street lobbyists,” while an independent NABE economist remarked that “2,300 pages is evidence of very bad drafting”. The biggest complaint was that the reform did not address the vulnerabilities that existed in the financial system before the crisis, in particular the “too big to fail” problem. One independent NABE economist concluded: “It would have been more effective to put a couple of the miscreants behind the financial crisis in jail.”

    Click for a chart break down.

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  67. An Interested Party says:

    Despite all the arrows pointed at Romney’s explanations, though, he manages to get more than 500 economists, 5 Nobel Laureates, to back his plan.

    Let’s take a closer look at that, shall we?

    Paul Krugman already pounced on a major, and disturbing, deception on behalf of the Romney economics team: that Glenn Hubbard, Greg Mankiw, and John Taylor (along with Kevin Hassett) published a white paper which grossly misrepresented the research of multiple economists. In other words, they are willing to flat out lie to create the impression their policies ideas have wide-spread support among economists.

    And what about those lies?

    Each of these sections include supporting documents from independent economists. And so I contacted some of the named economists to ask what they thought of the Romney campaign’s interpretation of their research. In every case, they responded with a polite version of Marshall McLuhan’s famous riposte. The Romney campaign, they said, knows little of their work. Or of their policy proposals.

    So even the studies that the Romney campaign’s economists handpicked to bolster their case don’t prove what the Romney campaign says they prove. And some of the key policy recommendations that flow from those studies are anathema to the Romney campaign. And in perhaps the key policy area highlighted by these studies, the Romney campaign doesn’t have a formal policy. If this is the best they can do in support of their economic plan, well, it’s not likely to quiet the critics.

    Yes, we should be so impressed with the alleged support that Romney’s economic “plan” is recieving…

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  68. john personna says:
  69. David M says:

    @john personna:

    Relatedly, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, ending deductions will pay for about a 4% decrease in tax rates.

    So I should probably apologize to the Romney campaign for accusing them of saying that 2+2=7 when in reality they are saying that 4 = 20.

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  70. KansasMom says:

    So Jan wishes the president had lied about the OBL raid for awhile because “the military” wanted them to. She would have not uttered a peep when it came out(the Pakistanis sure as hell would have had a thing or two to say) that the civilian leadership lied to the public in furtherance of military goals, right? Two questions Jan, first do you understand that the military answers to and follows the orders of the president, not the other way around? And second, what part of THE RAID WAS LIVE TWEETED IN REAL TIME BY A WITNESS do you not understand?

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  71. jan says:

    @KansasMom:

    Hey, where have you been lately?

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  72. jan says:

    @An Interested Party:

    You know what, Paul Krugman is one of the only economists who I draw a line in the sand on. He is totally off the planet of knowing what he is talking about. Most of his analysis is partisan based and flagrantly wrong.

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  73. An Interested Party says:

    You know what, Paul Krugman is one of the only economists who I draw a line in the sand on. He is totally off the planet of knowing what he is talking about. Most of his analysis is partisan based and flagrantly wrong.

    I notice that there is no disputing any of the information I linked to, just an attack on Krugman…

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  74. KansasMom says:

    @jan: Thanks for asking Jan! I spent a lovely day with my kids, siblings, nieces, nephews, parents and grandma at the pumpkin patch. A lovely 75 degree day here in the heartland.

    Looking over these threads since I got home, your day doesn’t seem as though it were nearly as much fun. Unless self-immolation is your thing.

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  75. jan says:

    @KansasMom:

    No, I don’t go into self-immolations..and, I doubt you do either. Actually, took heart in hearing a pleasant response to a question asking where you’ve been.

    I actually had a good day as well. Heard from my son. Am planning a road trip back up to Northern CA in a few days. I’ll be seeing the same kind of pumpkin patches as you’ve talked about…and, will be taking some items up for a haunted house that is a community project for the kids of the community I am closely associated with.

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  76. jan says:

    @An Interested Party:

    I notice that there is no disputing any of the information I linked to, just an attack on Krugman…

    I certainly know where you’re coming from, as most people glide over what I post and am immediately alienating it from seriousness simply because of a conservative being behind the information. However, I have read a lot of Krugman’s stances, and he is just too keynesian for me. Everything he translates into economical policy is based on the keynesian filter, which is simply opposed to how I see where our economical path should go, from here.

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  77. An Interested Party says:

    I certainly know where you’re coming from…

    Once again, you do not dispute what I linked to…links that totally destroy your assertion that “more than 500 economists, 5 Nobel Laureates…back [Romney's] plan.” But, by all means, keep bashing Paul Krugman and concede the point that what you wrote was horseshit…

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  78. jan says:

    @An Interested Party:

    I am disputing them, as I don’t believe in what Krugman pushes as economical policy. There are many economists, including ones polled by CNN who think Romney has better proposals for economic growth. Such growth leads to jobs and more revenue for the government. No horseshit, just a difference of opinion between what you think is viable and what I think as viable. What makes you think that your side has all the answers anyway? The economy has not moved under these policies, only stagnated. So, don’t go all “I know more than you do, because you simply don’t.” It’s a matter of differences in POV…..

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  79. wr says:

    @jan: ” So, I guess it would all work out so that a state’s ideology would then be put into practice at the federal cash register. ”

    In other words, you’re cheering on the idea of the ruling party using the power of the tax code to punish citizens for voting for the other party. Why don’t you just strap a swastika to your arm and goosestep around the room, if your only care is for the raw exercise of power against your “enemies.”

    Thanks for the view of how you really think, though. Pretty revealing.

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  80. wr says:

    @jan: “they could have spun the OBL story for just a few days, until the military gave them the go-ahead to make a public announcement. Again…only a few days….”

    You are aware that in our system of government, the military works for the civillian leaders, not the other way around. Maybe the same Jan that wants the federal government to tax people for voting Democratic believes that the president should follow the orders of the generals.

    Tell me, Jan, what country do you want to live in again? Kampuchea? The USSR? Mussolini’s Italy?

    The more you post, the more you reveal your true self. Fascinating, and terrifying.

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  81. jan says:

    @wr:

    There are several people on this site who make no sense, whatsoever, and simply rail at dust bunnies — you are one of them.

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  82. An Interested Party says:

    There are many economists, including ones polled by CNN who think Romney has better proposals for economic growth.

    Oh really? From your own link…

    Economists think Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would be better for the economy than President Obama. But they’re not very enthusiastic about either of them.

    Nine of 17 top economists surveyed by CNNMoney picked Romney when asked whose election would help the economy grow more. Only three picked Obama.

    But the remaining five made no pick, with several suggesting neither would provide much of a lift to the sagging economy.

    And many of those picking Romney were more critical of, as opposed to excited about, the Republican challenger’s plans.

    “Romney’s policies would likely be less bad for the economy than Obama’s,” said Bill Watkins, executive director of the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting at Cal Lutheran University.

    Oh my! Such ringing endorsements!

    It’s a matter of differences in POV…..

    No, it’s far more than that…the policies that Romney is pushing have already been tried during the Bush years and they failed to provide what you and others seem to think they will if Romney enacts them…

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  83. john personna says:

    @jan:

    I’ll see you Krugman and raise you Münchau:

    It was disguised as a technical appendix, but it turned out to be an act of insurrection. The International Monetary Fund has published results from a study, which show that the impact of fiscal policy on growth is higher than previously estimated. The policy conclusion of a large fiscal multiplier is obvious: excessive austerity defeats itself. It must end.

    One has to be clear about what this statement says, and what it does not say. The IMF does not say that austerity is too hard, too unfair, causes too much pain in the short term or hits the poor more than the rich. It says simply that austerity may not achieve its goal of reducing debt within a reasonable amount of time.

    The technical article makes two observations. The first is that most standard fiscal multipliers used in ordinary forecasting models, including the IMF’s own, is roughly 0.5. That means for each additional dollar or euro in reduced public spending, the economy contracts by 50 cents. This is not a realistic assumption for a time like this. Even intuition tells us that the multiplier must be at least one – simply because the fiscal tightening is not compensated for by lower interest rates. Nobody takes up the slack caused by austerity.

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  84. john personna says:

    Oh, Münchau ends:

    You could say it is highly symbolic that all this happened in Japan. Unfortunately, we are making more profound policy mistakes compared to what the Japanese did in the 1990s. Unless we heed the IMF’s advice, our experience will be worse.

    Who was the expert on Japan, Jan? It starts with a K ….

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  85. Fiona says:

    @john personna:

    Krugman doesn’t post on hot air, therefore Jan assumes he’s not credible.

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  86. bk says:

    @jan:

    You know what, Paul Krugman is one of the only economists who I draw a line in the sand on. He is totally off the planet of knowing what he is talking about.

    I’m sorry, but apparently I missed the thread where you set forth your credentials as an economist. Can you post them again?

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