“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, October 28, 2012

51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey.

AP poll: A slight majority of Americans are now expressing negative view of blacks

WASHINGTON POST — Racial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the United States elected its first black president, an Associated Press poll finds, as a slight majority of Americans now express prejudice toward blacks whether they recognize those feelings or not.
Those views could cost President Barack Obama votes as he tries for re-election, the survey found, though the effects are mitigated by some people’s more favorable views of blacks.
Racial prejudice has increased slightly since 2008 whether those feelings were measured using questions that explicitly asked respondents about racist attitudes, or through an experimental test that measured implicit views toward race without asking questions about that topic directly.
In all, 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election. In both tests, the share of Americans expressing pro-black attitudes fell.
“As much as we’d hope the impact of race would decline over time ... it appears the impact of anti-black sentiment on voting is about the same as it was four years ago,” said Jon Krosnick, a Stanford University professor who worked with AP to develop the survey.
Most Americans expressed anti-Hispanic sentiments, too. In an AP survey done in 2011, 52 percent of non-Hispanic whites expressed anti-Hispanic attitudes. That figure rose to 57 percent in the implicit test. The survey on Hispanics had no past data for comparison.
The AP surveys were conducted with researchers from Stanford University, the University of Michigan and NORC at the University of Chicago.
Experts on race said they were not surprised by the findings.
“We have this false idea that there is uniformity in progress and that things change in one big step. That is not the way history has worked,” said Jelani Cobb, professor of history and director of the Institute for African-American Studies at the University of Connecticut. “When we’ve seen progress, we’ve also seen backlash.”
Obama has tread cautiously on the subject of race, but many African-Americans have talked openly about perceived antagonism toward them since Obama took office. As evidence, they point to events involving police brutality or cite bumper stickers, cartoons and protest posters that mock the president as a lion or a monkey, or lynch him in effigy.
“Part of it is growing polarization within American society,” said Fredrick Harris, director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University. “The last Democrat in the White House said we had to have a national discussion about race. There’s been total silence around issues of race with this president. But, as you see, whether there is silence, or an elevation of the discussion of race, you still have polarization. It will take more generations, I suspect, before we eliminate these deep feelings.”


  1. Blacks might consider knocking this stuff off -

    Rise of black on white violence.

    It would be civilized too to quit posting death threats against Romney on the Tweeter. And not only against Romney but against whites that vote for him, and whites generally.

    This is another area in which Obama, who could have been of some real use here, has made things worse, not better.

    I expect that if Romney wins there will be some trouble. I hope Romney wins big, as that might lead to less trouble. If it is really tight, and the accusations start to be thrown around, it could get quite ugly for awhile.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.


  3. Some Americans express explicit anti-Amish attitudes. (AAA's)


    (trying to preempt the inevitable attack)

  4. Why are Amish crime rates so low"

    1) Because they are fuckin' slackers.

    2) You ever tried to make a get-away in a two-horse hitch with an orange triangle on the back?

    3) Because they are peaceful people who concentrate on family.

  5. Do you suppose the Wapo published this for the purpose of creating white guilt, i.e. a vote against Obama is a vote for racism?

  6. Replies
    1. I don't - entirely.

      The modern world is granular, atomized, more particle than wave, although, if one wanted to put a psycho-babble veneer on it, the social media platforms are bringing back the wave. (I would also suggest it is one way of viewing the clashes between Rufus and Quirk.) But, you know academics, always looking for something to analyze and grind up into parts. My scenario is that there is an element of racism lingering in USA society, largely attributable to the intractable problem of those on the bottom, many of whom are minorities and many of whom turn to crime, the Bil Cosby/Chris Rock narrative. I'm also quite sure the Dems are playing hardball politics (who knew?) Six of one, half a dozen of the other, or likely a little less of both with a healthy dose of modern noise thrown in for distraction, one of BC's favorite themes: noise to signal ratio of information. I trust I have been perfectly ambiguous. Maybe I can find work in Washington.

    2. I do. Where is the corresponding analysis of black racism?

      I trust I have been perfectly ambiguous.

      No need to worry there. Very ambiguous and perplexing too.

    3. Beautifully opaque, just the way we like you.

  7. Washington Times

    Mitt Romney’s Gallup daily tracking poll numbers are now better than any presidential challenger dating back to 1936.

    The Gallup daily tracking poll of likely voters released on October 26 shows Mr. Romney leading Barack Obama 51% to 46%. Mr. Romney holds the lead in the nine elections since 1936 in which either an incumbent president was defeated or there was no incumbent. Tied for second are Mr. Obama (2008) and George H.W. Bush (1988) with 50% at this point in the race, followed by John F. Kennedy (1960), Jimmy Carter (1976) and George W. Bush (2000) with 49%, Dwight D. Eisenhower with 48% (1952), Richard M. Nixon with 44% (1968), Bill Clinton with 40% (1992) and finally Ronald Reagan who actually trailed Jimmy Carter in 1980 with 39% to Carter’s 45%.

    Mr. Romney is even competitive with some victorious incumbents. Mr. Romney is tied with Presidents Eisenhower (1956) and George W. Bush (2004) in their reelection bids, he is ahead of where FDR was in 1940 and 1944, and far ahead of Bill Clinton’s 40% at this point in 1996. Mr. Romney also leads Harry Truman, who at 41% trailed challenger Thomas Dewey by four points. But he is being well outpaced by victors in the blowout elections of 1936, 1964, 1972 and 1984. Presidents Roosevelt, Johnson, Nixon and Reagan won handily -- their challengers won a combined total of 10 states.

    Read more: TRR: Romney Gallup Numbers Best Since 1936 - Washington Times
    Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

  8. The Obama 'firewall' is kaput. Romney is now even with Obama in Wisconsin.

    Chicago is famous for three things: 1. Pizza; 2. Gangsters; 3. Corrupt Politicans;...I know Barack Obama. Barack Obama is no pizza.

  9. Gallup poll: President Obama's job approval ratings plunged from 53%-46% in just 4 days. (Ramifications of Benghazi)

  10. If Romney wins, he vows to donate his salary to charity. If Obama wins, he vows to donate yours.

  11. :)

    Obamateurism of the Week

    Thank you for voting!
    “If four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal.” 58.52% (1,325 votes)

    Gas prices high now because of booming economy? 11% (249 votes)

    "... this nation, me, my administration ..." 12.46% (282 votes)

    "It was at least stage three Romnesia." 1.9% (43 votes)

    "You can take a videotape of things I said ten years ago, twelve years ago, and you can say, man, this is the same guy." 16% (365 votes)

    Total Votes: 2,264


    Even in Minnesota, Romney is within 3.

    Even among those peckerwoods, those crackers.

    1. Bemidji, Minnesota is an attractive place. College town, nice lake, clean. Filled with white racists, no doubt, crackers, most of whom intend to vote for Obama's white half. Got the liberal air of all college towns these days. Ah, ice fishing in the winter! Make plans to go south for the winter.

  12. Benghazi no bump, but a washed out road for Obama -

    October 28, 2012
    How badly has Benghazi hurt the president?

    Rick Moran

    Bill Kristol:

    On September 11, 2012, Rasmussen Reports had President Obama's job approval at 52 percent approve, 47 percent disapprove. Today, October 27, the numbers have reversed-47 percent approve, 52 percent disapprove. The economic news over these past six weeks has been on the whole a bit better than expected, so it's hard to believe that's the cause of the change. The campaign and the debates could of course have played a role. But the main real-world event that might have affected voters' approval or disapproval of President Obama's job performance is Libya.

    It was President Obama's commitment to "leading from behind" that was presumably key to the decision not to put more security on the ground for our ambassador in the first place, and then key to the decision not to send military assistance during the attack in Benghazi on September 11. President Obama and his team were proud of their novel doctrine-novel for a modern American president-of leading from behind. Could his commitment to that doctrine cost Barack Obama reelection to the presidency?

    Benghazi has become shorthand for the voter, meaning incompetence, lying, and paralysis. Since this is pretty much what they are seeing with Obama's stewardship of the economy, Benghazi reinforces the voter's understanding of Obama.

    More and more people are getting it.

  13. On the thread subject:

    Pressing Problem of the nation and the century: Voter Impersonation

    More on the Pressing Problem front - and everyone's favorite downtrodden victim: small business:

    Tarullo rightly does not regard limiting bank size as a panacea:His speech made it clear that there are many potential risks to any financial system. But, in the often-nuanced language of central bankers, Tarullo conveyed a clear message: The cult of size has failed.

    More broadly, we have lost sight of what banking is supposed to do. Banks play an essential role in all modern economies, but that role is not to assume a huge amount of risk, with the downside losses covered by society.

    Ross got it right again this week, when he said:

    I think that the real purpose and the real need that we have in this country for banks is to make loans particularly to small business and to individuals. I think that’s the hard part to fill.

    He continued:

    Our capital markets are sufficiently sophisticated and sufficiently deep that most large corporations have plenty of alternative ways to find capital. Smaller companies and private individuals don’t have really the option of public markets. They’re the ones that most severely need the banks. I think they’ve kind of lost track of that purpose.

    I think Ross is being too polite.

    1. I have a post that I was saving on fractional banking. May put it up tomorrow.


    'Sandy' does indeed look to be the mother of all storms.

  15. "I can be as cynical as anyone. But when the storm comes, if it's as bad as they're predicting, you're going to wish you weren't as cynical as you otherwise might have been."

    NJ Gov. Chris Christie

    This is well spoken, whatever it means.

  16. Govner did say that after a lovely two bottle of wine dinner with Doris.

  17. Hmm...don't see any news stories on six and a half hour waits in Florida voting lines...still looking though.

  18. I know that if the 'smartest man in the room' said it, it must be substantiated by fact and data...somewhere.

  19. The problem with Sandy is that eastern PA has not been hit with a major storm in 40 years. That adds up to 40 years of tree growth too close to most everything in the very leafy neighborhoods. I have one magnificent bastard of a poplar that seems to have an eye on my kitchen lounge area. I have a backup generation system but am helpless with what appears to be 20,000 board feet of green poplar 20 meters tall and 10 meters from the house.

  20. Madonna was booed in New Orleans last night when she told the concert goers to vote for Odumbo.

  21. Breaking news!

    The White House said this morning that Bible belt Christians are claiming that Hurricane Sandy is an answer to their prayers asking God to "smite the secular, blue apostates of the US."

    1. Rosanne Barr is running for the Oval Office under some party called PFP. Porkers For President or something.

  22. "20,000 board feet of green poplar"

    Making lemonade

    That tree must be worth a pretty penny. The storm reconstruction could be a boon to the local economy.

  23. I recalculated. It is closer to 11,000 in lumber, 15,000 with branches.

  24. Liberal Des Moines Register Endorses Romney. First Republican Endorsement In 30 Years.

    "President Obama's approval ratings are so low now, Kenyans are accusing him of being born in the United States." –Jay Leno

  25. Green lumber probably worth $.50 bdft, but it would cost at least $7,500 to take down, clean up and take away. The entire area may be shovel and chainsaw ready for stimulus by Wednesday. Obama will be here wearing a hardhat.

  26. When times get hard people get grouchy. Times are going to get harder.

  27. Someone was asking .....

    Wait times at some South Florida polling stations exceed five hours this afternoon of the first day of early voting. IMHO this is somewhere on a continuum that runs from mismanagement to voter suppression.

    You can see the Miami-Dade County Elections deptartment’s own estimates at this printout I made of the Miami-Dade County – Elections – Early Voting Wait Times page just before 4pm today.

    Wait times are FIVE AND HALF HOURS at Coral Reef Library. And FIVE HOURS at North Dade Regional Library. Four other locations have wait times of three to five hours. Twelve more are one to three hours. Only two — West Flager Branch Library and Lemon City Library — are under one hour.

  28. There ya go - the catch-all phrase for the new world: a continuum that runs from [stupid] to [venal].

    1. :)

      Same as the Old World

      Who'd a thunk it?

    2. True.

      What is either surprising, or not, is the rise of what one writer described as "savage insensitivity" or the dominance of bootstrapping over compassion. I wouldn't argue that the balance swings out of whack, but I do argue that the financial backdrop of the Wall St story suggests a self-serving component that is unworthy of a couple of generations who had it all in this country. One might be forgiven for expecting a more mannered response from the money class. But then again, money changes everything, as it always has. Lack of grace in the Republican rhetoric.

      My evil twin Delores is advising me not to post this, so here it goes. I have leaves to rake and miles to go.

  29. The only thing left for liberals is to figure out who to run in 2028 after Romney/Romney/Ryan/Ryan

  30. Speaking of imposters and their imminent threat to modern capitalism:

    The shrill Marxists at Scientific American have the story:

    The addendum matches the layout and design of the original, published by the U.S. Global Change Research Program: Cover art, “key message” sections, table of contents are all virtually identical, down to the chapter heads, fonts and footnotes….

    “It’s not an addendum. It’s a counterfeit,” said John Abraham, an associate professor at the University of Saint Thomas in Minnesota who studies clean power sources. “It’s a continued effort to kick the can down the road: A steady drip, drip, drip of fake reports by false scientists to create a false sense of debate.”

    From the I-am-not-Bill Maher website.

  31. .

    Do you suppose the Wapo published this for the purpose of creating white guilt, i.e. a vote against Obama is a vote for racism?

    In this case Deuce, I tend to disagree with you. I think the WaPo would have published the findings regardless of how they turned out. The fact that the results may have reinforced their general worldview was merely a plus factor for them.

    The WaPo published a summary of the poll 'results' as presented by the authors of the poll. What I am interested in is the study itself. When I read this story the other day, the first thing that popped into my mind was not only what were the questions that went into both the explicit and implicit sectors of the polls but how were the answers interpreted. It was an AP poll but who designed the poll? Was it a major polling agency? We have already seen that there are particular polls that seem to lean one way or another on a spectrum of issues. Was it a smaller, private polling house which would lead to more questions? Was it a group of academics? In this case, based on stereotypes and actual data, you would have to question the biases of those putting the questions together as well as how they interpret the answers, especially on that 'implicit test'.

    It comes down to a definition of 'racism'. Even the UN doesn't try to define racism. Some have suggested "I can't define it but I know it when I see it." IMO, that is pure bullshit. There is always some subjectivity in trying to determine intent but the 'when I see it' standard is way too subjective.


  32. I'll post the next IBD/TIPP Poll in an hour or so. The metrics to watch are White Women/Married Women.

    Obama needed someone around to snap a knot in his naturally snarky tail, and tell him "it's the economy, stupid."

    He's wasted an entire month making fun of big bird, binders, and Romnesia when he should have been hammering the NUMBERS in Romney's faux tax policy, and beating him to death with his "Record as Governor."

    The liberal kids on "The Cycle" thought it was great, but the Suburban Mom wasn't impressed.

    Obama has actually done some decent work on China, but he never talks about it. I don't think he believes the people are smart enough to be able to follow the details (or something.)

    The fact is, the American people are plenty smart enough, and they are Really interested. Standards of Living are falling, and people are getting scared. They need a Leader, not a snark-in-chief.

  33. As for the "racism" thing. We're All racists. It's hard-wired into our genes. Human survival has been all about "competition for resources."

    We have to be careful, though, that we don't allow our baser selves to override our intelligence.

    1. The Baser Self being the one that overrides Science, and Technology in favor of hatred, myth, and religion.

    2. .

      Simplistic generalizations until you define your terms.


    3. I'm here to give an opinion on a blog, not to write the next great Tome on Sociology, and Economics.

    4. 'sides, I'm a pretty simple guy.

    5. .

      Agreed. I just gave you my opinion.


    6. .

      Admittedly, it was a bit pithy.

      And you are a science/technology kind of guy.

      Next time, I will try to impress you by bringing in something on wave/particle duality, psycho-babble, or maybe even a reference to Schrodinger's cat and quantum entanglements.



  34. We've all seen these large schools of fish that will, inexplicably, within a micro-second, change direction and swim this way, and then that. How do they do that? How is that the one way over there, and the one way back here decide, instantaneously, to change direction and go "that-a-way?"

    Humans are like that, too.

    A long, long time ago, My Father and I had restaurants, about 20 miles apart, that catered to entirely different clientele. As different as daylight is to dark. And, yet, when he had a "Good" Day, I would have a "Good" Day; and vice versa.

    We never could figure out "why?"

    I say this because, today Obama is up a point in both the Rasmussen, and Gallup Polls, and his Approval Rating jumped two points to 48. Can you figure out what happened Yesterday that would have caused that? I sure can't.

    *Doris, if you say it's "God's Will" I'll hunt you down and kick you; I swear I will. :)

    1. .

      It's one of life's little mysteries like the reason for when I play red the ball always ends up on black.

      I've stopped asking why.


    2. :)

      I'm not hard to find - just look for the long line of pissed off people.

    3. I should have written "a" line of ...

      Probably going to be an explosion of lines of PO'ed people before this period of history sorts itself out. If the political class isn't careful. And the money lenders don't stop whining.

  35. Is it because they are swimming in a cloud of timeless instantaneous interactive knowing amongst them, like electron pairs that are said to dance together billions of miles apart.

    Campbell was impressed with this, the birds doing it as well.

    However, super fast photography indicates they are merely following the leader.

    1. Quantum entanglement is the word for it about the electrons, I think.

    2. There being no space and time anyways, those being merely our forms of perception and categories of understanding. Ha!

  36. Well, there you go; every upper-income, married woman in the Midwest woke up yesterday morning, and decided they Hated that sonofabitch in the White House. Was it the "Do it with Obama-girl" ad? Who knows?


    1. That ad certainly didn't do him any favors. Think of it this way - he screwed himself.

    2. And the gods were so displeased with it that they have now sent a super storm to keep the suboptimal less motivated Obama voters away.

      The mills of the gods grind slowly
      But exceedingly fine

  37. ******************

    An Egyptian telecom magnate, discussing how much of a fortune is enough, figures on $1 billion: “That’s my number for the minimum,” he says.

    You can meet him in “Plutocrats,” Chrystia Freeland’s exploration of the super-rich.

    Moving from Davos to Martha’s Vineyard as she stalks her subjects in their luxurious lairs, Freeland observes the subtly malign effects great wealth can have.

    “Being self-made is central to the self-image of today’s global plutocrats,” she writes of these financiers and Internet tycoons. “It is how they justify their luxuries, status and influence.”

    Freeland finds a general disregard for the sufferings of the middle class and an obsession with not paying more taxes (even though marginal tax rates are historically low).

    In the U.S., where finance has played a disproportionate role in producing mega-wealth, Freeland’s subjects tend to blame government or the middle-class for the country’s economic woes, not the recklessness of bankers.

    “It is this not-our-fault mentality that accounts for the plutocrats’ profound sense of victimization in the Obama era,” Freeland writes.


    Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else, by Chrystia Freeland

    This subject always elicits a withering firestorm of "you just hate the rich" rebuttal. Jealousy and envy are ugly things. So is self deception. The last two paragraphs sum it up for me.

    The other thing I notice, new or not, and like it or not, is the rise of psychology in modern analytics, starting, significantly, with "behavioral economics" and the use of "dynamic" rather than "static" multipliers in the modeling. I read recently that the large banks now employ psychologists in their investment departments to help explain and presumably predict investor sentiment that tends to violate in embarrassing ways the rational behavior hypotheses of the past.

    The wealthy are not putting on a good face. Not circumspect to go after Social Security.

    God's will apparently stops at the door to the vault.


  38. Ever since the days of Barry Goldwater, many liberals have assumed — or naively hoped — that each national defeat would teach Republicans that they had overreached, and pull them back from the extremes. Instead, the opposite has happened: The lesson of every loss, even the routs, has been “we were not conservative enough.”


    But Frank Rich says none of that will happen. The only lesson that will be learned, the New York magazine columnist says, is to head further right. And Rich argues that’s because there simply aren’t any other voices left. The moderate Northeast wing of the party was purged long ago. The primary defeats of conservatives like Bob Bennett in Utah and Richard Lugar in Indiana taught establishment figures that any compromise has its costs. Even a moderate-conservative wing, Rich suggests, would have no leaders, let alone followers, in the national party.

    Lord have mercy.

    1. The left demonizes all things conservative and republican. Meanwhile, it is the Democrats who have sold their souls to the devil.

  39. It's not about RACE. It's ALL about CULTURE!!

    It's about the culture of:

    sick, obscene, violent song lyrics
    absentee fathers
    rampant drug use
    generational dependency
    I'm owed for what happened to some of my race 300 years ago
    the government should take care of me
    I am not responsible for anything bad that happens to me
    irresponsible raising of children

    Hangtown Bob