“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."

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Now what?


  1. We can go to Colorado, and get high. :)

    Colorado legalized marijuana.

  2. Mitt Romney concedes in 5 minutes.

  3. The Republicans have to find a leader to bring them out of the 20th Century.

    1. Yeah, back to the Future:
      Lenin, Stalin, et al.

  4. Can go right over to Washington.

    Guess I might as well read back through all the EB comments where I was told none of it matters anyway, they're all dicks, just one giant big political party with two meaningless wings with funny animal symbols, no light between them at all.

    What me worry?

    1. Republicans have no one to blame but themselves, for putting forth the worst field of candidates in recent memory.

      Now, they need to move away from the idiot extremists in the tea party, and come back to the table to negotiate solutions to the problems facing America.

      America will be great again, but both parties have to get to work. We wasted 2 years because John Boehner was held hostage by the tea terrorists. We don't negotiate with terrorists. The voters upheld that principle.

      The Grand Bargain would be a good place to begin.

  5. Tammy Baldwin has beaten Tommy Thompson. Will be the first Openly Gay Female Senator.

  6. Oh, it will matter. Four years of Obama un-plugged.

    1. The Justice Department will keep him under tight reign.

      ...just like the New Black Panthers.

    2. His new hard-won flexibility w/Putin will put Yoga Instructers across the country to shame.

  7. Remember how long Realclear Politics had Romney at 206.

    It looks like Romney is going to finish up with 206.

  8. When things don't improve, will Bush still be blamed? Sure. And the rich, and the racists.

    Hide the cash under the mattress? Invest in solar? Buy a hay baler? Municipal bonds?

    I have no idea. Invest in Bain, maybe.

    I wish it didn't matter, but it does.

  9. Well there you go folks ,Obama re-elected and in response the U.S dollar drops. Within the next 12 months U.S government debt will be downgraded once possibly twice.

    Obama was the first black president of the U.S.A.History will show that Bush will be the last white president of the U.S.A. I have no doubt that under Obama America will lose its superpower status and the U.S dollar will lose its reserve currency status.

  10. Same old shit, different day.

    Boobie extends his run.

  11. Big Losers, tonight - Karl Rove, Sydney Adelson, Bubbleplumb Polling, The Donald, Unskewed, any asshole that ever drew a check from, or appeared on Fox News.

  12. Big Winners - The Country, Barack Obama, Nate Silver, and any hillbilly from Ms that predicted a 1% Victory in the Popular vote, with a larger win in the Electoral College. :)

    1. Other big winners would include (but, not be limited to) all those with a medical condition that will now be able to purchase health insurance, and all those young people that will be able to afford a college education.

    2. "and all those young people that will be able to afford a college education."


      Yeah, I so wish I had been saddled w/$100+k of debt out of college.

      Woulda been blessed with the freedom of so many more choices of what to do with my life.

  13. Socialist Fuckin True Believer, delivering our offspring, and our country to the squalor, depravity, and slaughter. though history has no lessons.

  14. Obama victory means four more years with no hope of change

    WASHINGTON — All that for nothing. It was the billion-dollar election that did not decide one single damned thing.

    Republicans control the House. Democrats control the Senate. And the White House remains in Democratic hands with absolutely no mandate whatsoever.

    Another four years with no hope of change.

    In this environment with this economy and all the gravely important matters pressing against the very existence of this country, it should have been a tsunami election. It should have been a landslide that sent President Obama into dust heap of failed presidencies. Instead, the election was about Big Bird.

    It was the rape election. The contraception election. The binders full of women election.

    It was about who was born where and whether she really could claim to be a Cherokee Indian.

    It was about former president George W. Bush. And it was about gay marriage.

    It was about the 1 percent and the 99 percent and the 47 percent.

    It was about dancing freaking horses, for crying out loud!

    Just about the only thing the election wasn’t about was the economy, which everyone agrees was the only thing voters actually cared about. People tend to really care about the economy when real unemployment reaches double digits, welfare rolls fatten by one-third, politicians rack up $16 trillion in debt and the largest tax hike in the history of the world looms just weeks away.

    Yet that obviously is not what decided this election. Politicians were too busy talking all about Big Bird, rape and dancing horses.

    The most disturbing issue of the election was how President Obama managed to win re-election in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania and Michigan by talking about the highly unpopular bailout of General Motors.

    By taking billions of dollars in hard-earned money from taxpayers during a deep recession and giving it to a couple of huge companies, Obama managed to buy the votes he needed to eke out re-election. Taxpayers remain on the hook to the tune of $25 billion.

    This is the Achilles heel of a democracy. Politicians simply tax those who do not support them and give the money to those who do. Or give the money to those they would like to have support them. It is the end of the line. Game over.

    The weeks to come will feature endless finger-pointing and blame about how Republicans do not know how to speak to non-white voters and women and all that non-sense.

    What happened last night is the same thing that has been happening for decades in America. Politicians deploy all this highly precise technology to slice and dice voters into little micro-groups and then talk to them all about dancing horses or Big Bird.

    The result is you have all these states vote for one side and all these other states vote for the other side and it all comes down to Florida and Ohio. You could have given me a lot less than a billion dollars and I could have told you that.

    The only way this gridlock is finally broken is when politicians grow up and decide to put away Big Bird and dancing horses and seriously address like adults the $16 trillion in debts they have racked up on our credit card.


    ...for our children and our country to deal with.

  15. The Warren Court will seem like the Golden Years of Responsible Judicial Oversight.

    ...look at the two clueless Ideologues already installed.

    Those Dead White Men will be re-toasted in Hell.

  16. Family?

    Who gives a fuck about family?
    We don't need no fuckin "fathers"

    ...the Future is investing in Prision Futures. liberal leaders continue to raise their kids with the toniest private education money can buy, (like po Boy BHO) the better for them to lead the rabble further into servitude.

  17. Montana Tester 48.8 Rehberg 44.8 (62%)

    Votes get counted slowly out in that expanse. Rehberg still has a chance, maybe.

  18. Rufus will awake in the morn and give us a crisp and concise explanation of how much better life will be for our kids saddled w/a debt of
    16 trillion and growing, downgrades in credit rating, energy and national security nightmares...

    ...and the dismantling of our Health Care.

  19. If Coulter does not renounce her love for the Fat Man who cries over Bruce Springsteen, I'm throwing her in the Noonan/Buckley reject pile.

  20. McCain when he ran got more votes than Romney. This is hard to understand.

  21. "It was about dancing freaking horses, for crying out loud!"


    Doug was AWOL on that one, what was that about?

    1. Mrs Romney's nice horse, Falafa by name, IIRC.

  22. A message from a long-time commenter, Leo Linbeck, entered entered two posts back, here reproduced verbatim:

    The President ran a brilliant campaign. He ran overwhelmingly negative ads, early and focused and targeting the battleground states. He was able to define Romney, and his messaging was perfectly calibrated for his target audiences. Given his first term record, he really had no other choice, and his execution was first-rate.

    But now he will reap what he sowed. His pretense of being a uniter, someone who can reach across the aisle and work together to solve pressing problems, lies in ruins. Whatever reservoir of goodwill and trust that existed in January 2009 is now bone dry.

    So, yes, he won. But it will almost certainly be a Pyrrhic victory. He chose to divide the country deeply to win his second term. He will find that the nation he will again lead is not governable by him, and he may have tipped it to where it is not governable by anyone. He is so deeply despised by so much of the country that he will never be able to do what needs to be done (assuming he even wanted to, which does not appear likely).

    The reaping will begin sooner than he probably expects. The ship of state is heading toward the Scylla and Charybdis of the fiscal cliff (in 2012) and Obamacare (in 2013). At work, we have been looking at the impact of Obamacare, and all I can say is that the average person has absolutely no idea how enormous the impact will be on their life. It will be an enormous shock to the system, and it will hit almost everyone in the country.

    I still have hope, but it is in the states and local communities. The governors and state legislatures must step up and stop acting like subsidiaries of Washington. Those that do will thrive; those that don’t will slouch toward their demise.

    So let me be perfectly clear: we must restore self-governance. That was true before this election, and it remains true.

    I want to encourage everyone to keep trying to preserve the republic. We have been blessed to be a part of this great American experiment, and we owe it to those who have paid in blood and treasure to not give up. It is a duty we should not fear, but relish. And if you don’t think you can do that where you live, come on down to Texas. We may be the last, best hope of the last, best hope on earth.

    Godspeed to you all, and may God bless the United States of America.


  23. President Obama had a 68 percent share of the Jewish vote, according to national exit polls Tuesday evening — 10 points less than his share four years ago.

  24. Mr. Obama's support among women becomes clearer when you consider gender and marital status. While non-married women are overwhelmingly supportive of the president, 67 to 31 percent, married women favor Romney by a 10 point margin (54 to 45 percent).

    This pattern is apparent not just in the national polls, but in many of the swing state polls as well, including Florida, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin among others.

    A similar pattern emerges when gender is considered along with race. Whereas Mr. Obama enjoyed overwhelming support among black and Latino women, white women supported Romney, 56-42 percent.

    In addition to non-married women, other key components of Mr. Obama's constituency were young people, racial and ethnic minorities. These are the same groups that made up much of Mr. Obama's voting block four years ago. In 2008, for instance, 66 percent of young people age 18-29 supported the president, just six percentage points more than this year.
    (18-29 year olds see socialism more favorably than capitalism:
    Thank you, NEA and our Colleges.)

    Similarly, in 2008, 95 percent of blacks supported Mr. Obama, compared to 93 percent this election cycle. This pattern is repeated among Hispanics, who in 2008 supported Mr. Obama over John McCain 67-31 percent and this year came out in even larger numbers, 69 to 30 percent.

  25. I was wrong.

    Obama won.

    America gets what it voted for...

  26. Projecting your own beliefs, prejudoces and feelings onto theelectorate, a foolish thing to do.

    Gaty jonson lost, as expected.

    All of those that voted for Mitt, while believing that 'Small Government' policies are preferable, well ...

    You wasted your vote.

    1. Looks like you wasted for vote as well.

    2. Not at all, anon.

      I voted for a candidate that represented most of my policy preferences.

      Not the least objectionable of the two Federal Socialist candidates

    3. Go fuck yourself!

  27. So where do we go from here?

    First, we must stop rationalizing and look truth in the eye. There are no national ballot-box solutions, and America's winter is nigh. And will we, as all civilizations eventually do, soon go the way of ancient Rome? It's possible. Remember, however, that when Rome fell there were still people living in her lost lands. They still had to forge societies. And some did a better job than others.

    Read more:

    One person I spoke with last night suggested Australia. Another, Alaska. Another Montana or Wyoming.

  28. .

    Well, I'm just happy to see you and Doug made it through the night without doing anything foolish.



  29. Romney said, "If you want free stuff, vote for the other guy." They sure enough did.

  30. .

    Come on guys.

    Ronald Reagan died in 2004. The Age of Reagan died over the past decade.

    Things change. Shit happens.


  31. Good Morning, Kiddos. It's a Beautiful Day, eh?

    We beat back the Religious Crazies. Legalized some pot. Provided healthcare to the poor, and the sick.

    Raised taxes on the rich (and, cut taxes on ME.)

    Kept the Renewable Energy thing going.

    Validated a timely exit from the last idiot foreign nation-building exercise.

    Got a bunch of kids a College education under terms that they can afford.

    And, probably, laid the groundwork for a semi-balanced budget.


    1. .

      Good heavens, Ruf.

      Up all night with your head buried in that Kool-aid punch bowl?


    2. :) Slept like a baby.

      I'm happy, Q. The things I believe in won.

    3. .

      I'm happy your're happy, Ruf. But let's not be getting too giddy. It wouldn't be prudent.

      Your comments, such as those on student loans, betray either a flight from reality or a quick flight to Colorado.



    4. "Free" stuff, indeed.
      Servitude is freedom.
      Money from an Atheist's Heaven.

    5. Remind me some time to tell you about my time in Aspen. :)

      Keeping Bank of America out of the student loan program, and holding the payments down to 5% of income will/does open the door to a lot more students, Q.

    6. .

      I am not denying that taking the banks out of this program was a good thing. Not only does it reduce cost and improve efficiency, the government was already cutting student loans to certain groups and had the people in place to handle the total amount of loans themselves.


      Other big winners would include...all those young people that will be able to afford a college education.

      That is one big stretch. Student loans do nothing to bring down the costs of a college education. Currently, there is over a $trillion in outstanding student loans. That's more than all the comsumer credit card debt in the country and the default rate is significant. And we have all heard the horror stories of these kids trying to pay off the debt (not subject to bancruptcy by the way similar to taxes) while working at part time jobs or while underemployed.

      Like topsy and healthcare, the cost of college continues to grow. It's creating a bifurcated US of the college educated and those who are not. It exacerbates the conflicts over class and income inequality.

      Student loans make credit more readily available. They do nothing to reduce college costs. The US would be better off taking the $15 billion they spend on the Dept. of Ed. each year and spending it on programs to help assure everyone has the opportunity for a college education.


    7. .

      By the way, I wouldn't mind hearing about Aspen some time.

      Right now, it's dog walking time.


    8. Student loans are a big gift to the professors and the local merchants too. Everybody wins.

    9. Except the graduate without a job.

  32. Devolution is preferable to revolution. There is no compromise possible when compromise means I choose and you lose. The definition of an America or an American is an anachronism. Something that is dumbed down to mean anything means nothing. 47% of the American public abetted by illegal immigrants have a call on the resources and wealth of the other half. There is not even a common currency in the culture. Not good.

  33. Over half of the American People looked at the Candidates, and figured out that they would be better off under Obama.

    Another 40% didn't figure it out, right away, but will (maybe) as time goes by.

    You guys ARE going to have some fun the first of the year, though, when Everybodies' taxes go up. Hopefully, it won't take too long to get the Pubs back to the table, and get the middle/lower class tax cuts reinstated.

  34. Seems to me that there is a quaint expression somewhere regarding the consent of the governed.

    1. To a point. A lot of boys did Not consent to fight in Vietnam, but died there just the same.

      Deemocrasee is hard.

  35. Rob from Peter to pay Paul and you will always get Paul’s vote. How noblel. I fail to be persuaded by the concept.

    1. The Dems refer to it as "everyone paying their fair share." :)

  36. Wrong. Those that did not consent did not die in Viet Nam. They went to Canada.

    Grumbling, protesting and not consenting are not on a parallel plane.

    Those that died in Viet Nam mostly did it because they were pitifully unlucky or believed it was their duty to serve their country. The majority of the American public accepted the concept of forced conscription. It was the law. It was universal. Then it became corrupted by deferments. What was tolerated under equality was rejected under a concept of selective privilege.

    1. If you are going to get rich investing in companies that close factories, fire the workers, and move the jobs to China, you have to understand that those workers are not going to be allowed to starve to death, or die from untreated illnesses.

      There Is, in the "Democratic Mind," anyway, a Social Contract.

      Throwing away those Americans that lost the latest, daily "Jobs/Education/Medical/Health" lottery will not be an accepted course of action.

  37. Why I Was Wrong
    By Dick Morris on November 7, 2012

    I’ve got egg on my face. I predicted a Romney landslide and, instead, we ended up with an Obama squeaker.

    The key reason for my bum prediction is that I mistakenly believed that the 2008 surge in black, Latino, and young voter turnout would recede in 2012 to “normal” levels. Didn’t happen. These high levels of minority and young voter participation are here to stay. And, with them, a permanent reshaping of our nation’s politics.

    In 2012, 13% of the vote was cast by blacks. In 04, it was 11%. This year, 10% was Latino. In ’04 it was 8%. This time, 19% was cast by voters under 30 years of age. In ’04 it was 17%. Taken together, these results swelled the ranks of Obama’s three-tiered base by five to six points, accounting fully for his victory.

    I derided the media polls for their assumption of what did, in fact happen: That blacks, Latinos, and young people would show up in the same numbers as they had in 2008. I was wrong. They did.

    But the more proximate cause of my error was that I did not take full account of the impact of hurricane Sandy and of Governor Chris Christie’s bipartisan march through New Jersey arm in arm with President Obama. Not to mention Christe’s fawning promotion of Obama’s presidential leadership.

    It made all the difference.

  38. Dang it --

    Green Room
    Jim Matheson just barely defeats Mia Love in Utah
    posted at 2:01 pm on November 7, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

    She fought hard and gained a lot of ground over the course of the race, but in the end, it wasn’t quite enough — this one really gets me. Via the Deseret News:

    Rep. Jim Matheson escaped with his political life once again Tuesday to earn a seventh term in Congress.

    The Democratic congressman claimed victory shortly after midnight in a hard-fought victory over Republican Mia Love after trailing in the polls going into Election Day. In so doing, he becomes the first representative from Utah’s new 4th Congressional District.

    After a seesaw battle all night long, Matheson bested Love 49.3 percent to 48.1 percent, a 2,818-vote gap, according to unofficial results. …

    In winning another term, Matheson held on to his position as the state’s lone Democrat in Congress.

  39. Christie saw the writing on the wall and crawfished. I doubt he will be warmly received by his fellow Republicans anytime soon.

  40. Romney would have better off if he had given Sarah that speaking slot at the convention.

  41. Might have gotten more of the fed up with it white vote out.

  42. DETROIT (WWJ) Among the new group of state lawmakers to emerge from Election Day on Tuesday is Brian Banks, who has been convicted eight times for felonies involving bad checks and credit card fraud.

    Banks, a Democrat and lifelong Detroiter, won a seat in Lansing as a state representative for the 1st District, representing the east side of Detroit, Harper Woods, and the tony Grosse Pointes. He won 68 percent of the vote to Republican Dan Schulte’s 32 percent.

    Banks, 35, was convicted eight times between 1998 and 2004 of writing bad checks and credit card fraud.

    His slogan was “You can Bank on Banks.”

    “It’s time to elect a leader, with experience and passion, who will fight for you,” he wrote on his website.

  43. Voters in Puerto Rico have supported a non-binding referendum to become a full US state.

    The measure will require approval from the US Congress, but President Barack Obama has said he will respect the vote.

    The island is currently a US territory, which uses the dollar and whose citizens travel on US passports.

    But it does not return senators to the US Congress and is represented in Washington by a non-voting delegate.

    Almost 80% of the island's electorate took part in the referendum, the fourth in the past 45 years.

    With almost all the votes counted, almost 54% voted to change the island's relationship with the US.

    And in reply to a second question on what future they favoured, nearly two-thirds wanted full statehood.

    The Pubs could block it in the House, but do they really want to piss the Hispanics back even more?

    1. Free Puerto Rico!

      Independence for the Puerto Ricans!

    2. Down With American Imperialism!

    3. "It isn't clear what change we want, but we want change," he said.


    4. Puerto Rico votes for statehood
      posted at 2:01 pm on November 7, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

      The overall vote in the US wasn’t the only one last night that was oddly contradictory, with voters wanting change but re-electing the status quo. In Puerto Rico, a non-binding referendum on the future of the US territory found statehood the popular choice — but the candidate who backed statehood lost his re-election bid as governor. Luis Fortuno, who has been a star on the conservative-convention circuit and even got some attention as a possible VP candidate, conceded defeat this morning:

      Puerto Rico’s governor is conceding defeat in a close election in the U.S. island territory.

      Gov. Luis Fortuno said a few thousand outstanding ballots would not be enough to close the gap with his main challenger, Alejandro Garcia Padilla. The margin was less than 1 percent.

      Garcia Padilla’s party backs the status quo of semi-autonomy as a territory.


  44. U.S. Senate, Montana
    Precincts reporting: 93.6% (743 / 794) Name Party Votes Pct.
    Jon Tester* Dem 221,620 48.8%
    Denny Rehberg GOP 203,200 44.7%
    Dan Cox Lib 29,493 6.5%

    And a hearty ho ho and thank you to the Libertarians

    → Elections, Environment, Politics, Top Stories
    Meet the Libertarian Candidate Who Could Help Dems Hold the Senate
    By siphoning off Republican votes in Montana's high-stakes Senate race, Dan Cox could hand the election—and possibly control of the Senate—to the Democrats.

    —By Dana Liebelson
    | Fri Nov. 2, 2012 2:08 AM PDT

    dan cox University of Montana

    The Montana Senate match-up between Democrat Sen. Jon Tester and Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg is among the most closely watched in the nation, since its outcome could potentially determine which party controls the US Senate. But lately the candidate in the race who's getting the most attention is neither Tester or Rehberg—it's Dan Cox, who's running as a Libertarian. His unexpected profile boost came last week thanks to a $500,000 ad buy touting Cox as Montana's "real conservative." The catch is that his campaign is not behind the ad. It was bankrolled by a political action committee that has been supporting Tester's campaign and running attack ads against Rehberg.

  45. Reading Dick Morris is comical stuff.
    He is still in deniel.

    Obama wins in a landslide, and Morris calls it a squeaker.

    Romney got his projected 206 Ekectoral Colllege votes ...
    Obama wins with 332 votes

    Not even close, Obama overwhelmed Romney.
    Not a squeaker, a BLOW OUT.

  46. Puerto Rico would be a real asset. Why stop there? Let’s bring in Guatemala and el Salvador as well.

    Puerto Rico has been a United States territory for more than a century, and its people have been citizens since 1917. They do not vote in national elections or pay federal income taxes, but those are not the biggest differences between Puerto Rican residents and their fellow American citizens. The island is distinguished by its poverty and joblessness, which are far worse than in any of the 50 states. The territory's economy, moreover, has fallen further behind the national one over the past three decades. Bad government—not just locally, but also federally—is largely to blame. Yet most Americans are oblivious to the Caribbean island’s problems…

    Puerto Rico's annual income per person was around $12,000 in 2004, less than half that of Mississippi, the poorest state. More than 48% of the island's people live below the federally defined poverty line. That poverty rate is nearly four times the national average, and more than twice as high as in poor states such as Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and West Virginia.

    Half the working-age men in Puerto Rico do not work.

    Federal transfer payments to Puerto Rico rose sharply in the 1970s. Some programmes have been modified since then, but transfers still make up more than 20% of the island's personal income. These federal handouts reflect the sensibilities of a wealthy country. So by Puerto Rican economic standards, they are huge. And the more a man or woman earns through paid work, the more they decrease.

    Puerto Ricans are eligible for federal disability payments, for example, through Social Security. Ms Enchautegui and Mr Freeman point out that, in the territory, federal disability allowances are much higher than the United States average as a share of wages and pension income. Unsurprisingly, therefore, one in six working-age men in Puerto Rico are claiming disability benefits.

    Relaxation without representation

    What do Puerto Rico's men do all day? Some get into trouble. But many others hang out in pleasant places that require little money, such as beaches, shopping malls and the armchairs in Borders bookstores. They also watch plenty of television. Downtown Aguadilla may be shabby, but satellite dishes sprout from many rooftops. People always have money for that bill, says Mayor Méndez.

  47. Replies
    1. Relaxation without representation



    2. I think that is humorous as hell, relaxation without representation. Since democracy is hard, not a bad deal, really.

    3. Dad would have gotten chuckle out of that.

  48. Andy Heggenstaller, an agronomist at DuPont Pioneer, is working with growers and university researchers to measure the costs and benefits of stover removal.

    “We believe that there is an ability for stover harvest to be done in a sustainable manner,” Heggenstaller says.

    As grain yields in corn have gone up, so has the stover, at a ratio of about one to one, he says. For every 40 bushels of grain produced by a corn plant, 1 ton of stover dry matter is grown as well.

    Heggenstaller confirms the benefits that Taylor and other farmers have seen from removing stover. One Iowa State University (ISU) study showed that in corn grown after corn, yields are about 10 bushels an acre higher if half of the stover has been removed in the previous year.

    Coming along

  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

  50. Good idea.

    Around here, some of them are starting to bale up the stubble after wheat/barley harvest and remove it from the field. Not sure what happens to it after that.