Saturday, January 2, 2010

Last Call

Well whaddya know.  Looks like the Powers That Be have decided that Rasmussen's constantly outlying poll numbers are now A Story Of Some Measure.  Oh, but this is Politico, you the story is "How the mean Democrats pick on Scott Rasmussen's polling firm."
“I don’t think there are Republican polling firms that get as good a result as Rasmussen does,” said Eric Boehlert, a senior fellow with Media Matters, a progressive research center. “His data looks like it all comes out of the RNC [Republican National Committee].”

“Whether intended or not, Rasmussen polls have been used by conservative voices as talking points, and when that happens on one side it inevitably produces a reaction from the other,” explained Mark Blumenthal, a polling analyst and the editor and publisher of “Rasmussen produces a lot of data that appear to produce narratives conservatives are promoting, and that causes a reaction.”
Now I've been complaining about Rasmussen's polls for months now.  It's not just his oddball "likely voter" samples, either...that skews the respondents heavily towards older white voters who have voted before and heavily under-samples minority and young voters.  Scott Rasmussen himself freely admits this.   Rasmussen's questions are heavily suggestive too.

(More after the jump...)

Right Nightmare, Wrong Party

Politico reminds us that terrorism that should happen on a Republican's watch is a chance for America to come together when 3,000 people are killed.  Should a Democrat be in charge however, it's a nightmare.
The muted response, allies said, was aimed at denying al Qaeda a propaganda victory, and at demonstrating how little the terrorists can now disrupt Americans’ lives. “The president and his team have done a good job at handling the situation given the competing interests at play. He’s been forceful without the bellicose chest bumping of the last administration,” said Jim Manley, the chief spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “One thing he’s got going for him is Republicans have no credibility on this issue when their sending out former Vice President Cheney you know they’ve hit the bottom of the barrel.

Still, the response failed to reckon with the intense public interest in a story of repeated government failures and a near-fatal attack. Not to mention that Americans and flight crews were on edge – as evidenced in the detainment of a man who was in an airplane bathroom for too long and who authorities released once they learned he was just a businessman who’d gotten ill. The White House, already feeling heat for its Christmas Day response, had a spokesman quickly issue a statement when the man was taken into custody.

In Obama’s effective absence, Republicans began sharply attacking the administration, producing a partisan stand-off critics say could have been avoided.

“They should have approached it as a national security emergency requiring a bipartisan response, not a political response,” said Doug Schoen, a pollster who worked for President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. “He absolutely should have interrupted his vacation and absolutely should have gone back to Washington, and convened a high-level, bipartisan meeting.”
So, to recap:  Republicans have no credibility on terrorism because 9/11 happened on their watch.  Democrats however have less credibility because a Nigerian man set his crotch on fire on an airliner.

Our liberal Village media, ladies and gentlemen, demands a bipartisan solution to the problem, which apparently entails letting the Republicans (with their zero credibility) lecture the President on how to stop the terrorists they couldn't.

Our political discourse is broken.

Volcker's Game

Today's must-read comes from Steve M. at NMMNB.  The banksters, it seems, are going to have a rough time of it in 2010.  The forced consolidation of the industry means that the community bank is rapidly disappearing from the country, to be replaced by the Too Big To Fail megabanks.  140 banks went under in 2009...I expect far more to go under in 2010 as the commercial real estate market continues to swan dive.

Needless to say, the banksters are beefing up their lobbying presence bribery in 2010 significantly.

Steve's post ends with this point on Paul Volcker, however:
But Volcker is the Colin Powell of this administration. Maybe he resists administration groupthink on the economy more vigorously than Powell did on foreign policy in the first Bush term, but, like Powell, he's the guy nobody in the administration listens to. If he wants to make the case that we need a return to Glass-Steagall-style regulation and an end to "too big to fail," he should have the guts to resign, making it obvious that he's not doing so "for personal reasons." He should write a book. He should speak out against business as usual as an independent gray eminence. He should, in other words, be outside the tent pissing in, rather than the opposite, which is just where it suits the fat-cat-friendly administration to have him.
Agreed.  It's time for Volcker to put the screws on Obama from the outside and do the honorable thing.  Right now, he is effectively neutered.

The Last Twenty Years According To Republicans: A Play In Three Acts

Act The First: "Bill Clinton was the worst President ever.  He destroyed our economy and allowed 9/11 to happen so we impeached his ass."

Act The Second: "George W. Bush was the best President ever.  He protected America from terrorists, got that Saddam Hussein bastard that caused 9/11 and the economy was great."

Act The Third:  "Barack Obama is the worst President ever.  In one year he destroyed the Bush economy and almost let another 9/11 happen.  We should impeach his ass."


I hear Moose Lady loves the book on tape version of the play, too.

[UPDATE 12:13 PM]  To recap, stock prices and home prices are lower now than they were ten years ago when Clinton was President.

This is all of course clearly Obama's fault for not fixing America in 2009.

[UPDATE 2 3:25 PM]  As Doug at Balloon Juice reminds us...there was a net zero job creation in this country over the last decade as well.

Chart shows Job growth by decade

We would have come up with a net job loss for the decade without the stimulus. Even the 70's under Jimmy Carter were far, far better for Americans than the last ten years. Eight of those last ten were under George W. Bush. You do the math.

And yet our liberal media has convinced America that the problem was Clinton in '01 and Obama in '09.

2010: The Future Is Now!

Unfortunately, as Yggy points out, it's the bad, grimy, cyberpunk parts of the future.  William Gibson's seminal novel Neuromancer has its protagonist Case living out of a capsule hotel in Chiba City, Japan.  In 1984, when Gibson's novel was published, Japanese salarymen used the hotels to grab a night's sleep when they missed the last train home.

And now in 2010, unemployed Japanese are now living out of them.
For Atsushi Nakanishi, jobless since Christmas, home is a cubicle barely bigger than a coffin — one of dozens of berths stacked two units high in one of central Tokyo’s decrepit “capsule” hotels.

“It’s just a place to crawl into and sleep,” he said, rolling his neck and stroking his black suit — one of just two he owns after discarding the rest of his wardrobe for lack of space. “You get used to it.”

When Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510 opened nearly two decades ago, Japan was just beginning to pull back from its bubble economy, and the hotel’s tiny plastic cubicles offered a night’s refuge to salarymen who had missed the last train home.

Now, Hotel Shinjuku 510’s capsules, no larger than 6 1/2 feet long by 5 feet wide, and not tall enough to stand up in, have become an affordable option for some people with nowhere else to go as Japan endures its worst recession since World War II.
(More after the jump...)

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