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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: The political junkie POTUS prediction thread
Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
Here's what my UMC Pastor put in today's bulletin:
quote:
In the next few days before election, let us come together in prayer for our country. Some important points to remember is how your candidate feels about same sex marriage and abortion. If you have questions that might still be unanswered, there are a couple of Christian websites you can look up infromation at:
Followed by a couple of sites. Grammatical mistakes his own.
Does your church still have tax exempt status?
Under the U.S. system churches can speak out on political issues but cannot endorse specific candidates. And yes, the IRS is unimpressed by arguments along the lines of "No Christian can support position X. Candidate Y supports X."

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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cliffdweller
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Except, again, when uttered by Jim Dobson, who says precisely that every election cycle.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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cliffdweller
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Then there's All Saints Episcopal here in Pasadena, which had to undergo a very lengthy and expensive legal battle to keep their tax-exempt status after Rev. R. preached that war is wrong.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemrw:
I'll have to remember to point that out to my brother, Anna. However, I think it's more a case of some are saying Republican skullduggery, and others are saying assasination. I could be wrong though.

I've been worried about that, without the help of psychics. AIUI, there are voting issues already, lots of them. And the other is *always* an issue, moreso when fear and prejudice and maintaining power are involved.

If anything happens to Obama, this country could make 1968 look like a bunch of energetic third-graders stuck in class without recess on a rainy day.

Shudder. [Votive]

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Crœsos
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Interestingly enough, James Dobson is not ordained as clergy by any organization. Technically he's the head of Focus on the Family which is not officially a church. It's still a non-profit (non-prophet?) organization though, and shouldn't be endorsing candidates.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Nicolemr
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Golden Key, well, I've worried about both myself, but not to the extent that I'm seriously depressed about the possibilities at the moment. It's more the way my brother is taking the psychics seriously per se that's disturbing to me, to be honest. (and no, btw, he isn't paying for psychic advice. She really is a friend. Work related, he's a radio engineer and she hosts a show)

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On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

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Zwingli
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quote:
Originally posted by Mamacita:
That's why I really liked Clinton's comment at last week's Florida rally, that with Obama in office we would have a President that was not just capable of understanding complex issues, but also interested in understanding them.

Then you have a much higher opinion of Obama than I do. I think that so far he has offered exceptionally simple, and often content-free, solutions to complex problems which he claims to understand.

quote:
Originally posted by RooK:
I seem to recall that it was widely reported that Palin continued including falsehoods in her stump speech even after they were pointed out to her.

RooK, she's a politician. They all continue repeating falsehoods even after they've been pointed out to them. Palin is just less articulate and less crafty, making her more obvious than most. Compare with, say, President Clinton for someone at the other end of the scale, but just as willing to knowingly repeat falsehoods.

[ 03. November 2008, 01:46: Message edited by: Zwingli ]

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Bullfrog.

Prophetic Amphibian
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quote:
Originally posted by Zwingli:
quote:
Originally posted by RooK:
I seem to recall that it was widely reported that Palin continued including falsehoods in her stump speech even after they were pointed out to her.

RooK, she's a politician. They all continue repeating falsehoods even after they've been pointed out to them. Palin is just less articulate and less crafty, making her more obvious than most. Compare with, say, President Clinton for someone at the other end of the scale, but just as willing to knowingly repeat falsehoods.
I think the accusation is less that she's dishonest and more that she's stupidly dishonest. Barack Obama may have completely gone back on his word with regard to campaign financing, but...he did it so gracefully!

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Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

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RooK

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quote:
Originally posted by Zwingli:
RooK, she's a politician. They all continue repeating falsehoods even after they've been pointed out to them. Palin is just less articulate and less crafty, making her more obvious than most.

So you're saying that you were not aware of her deliberate ignorance, other than that every politician is deliberately ignorant? OK, fine. How about the degree to which she has demonstrated a stunning lack of understanding of the position she is campaigning for? Did you miss all of that as well?
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Mechtilde
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Except, again, when uttered by Jim Dobson, who says precisely that every election cycle.

I thought his first name was "Doctor"?

Sorry, totally irrelevant but that drives me crazy. (It's a short drive.)

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"Once one has seen God, what is the remedy?"
Sylvia Plath, "Mystic"

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Jonathan Strange
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Just a quick question: a BBC article says that

quote:
Under federal election law, only American citizens and certain Green Card holders are allowed to make donations to campaigns.
Is this true? I was sorely tempted to donate earlier this year (though I didn't in the end) but I thought I'd read that a few British Shipmates had donated.

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"Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bears his teeth, winter meets its death,
When he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again"

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Golden Key
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More on voting problems and scams:

Voters Across Nation Hit by Dirty Tricks--AP article.

Blackbox Voting watchdog site. This also has info on protecting your vote.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Zwingli
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# 4438

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quote:
Originally posted by RooK:
So you're saying that you were not aware of her deliberate ignorance, other than that every politician is deliberately ignorant? OK, fine. How about the degree to which she has demonstrated a stunning lack of understanding of the position she is campaigning for? Did you miss all of that as well?

Oh, I'm definitely aware of her deliberate ignorance. And no, I didn't miss her lack of understanding of the role of VP. But I was responding to someone's point that her ignorance was qualitatively more dangerous because it was deliberate, which I'm not sure is true. In fact, determination to believe that which is untrue is far more dangerous than determination to remain ignorant, and while Palin is appallingly bad for the latter, a good many politicians are far worse for the former. Do you really think Palin as VP could do as much damage as Cheney has?

quote:
Originally posted by Jonathan Strange:
Just a quick question: a BBC article says that

quote:
Under federal election law, only American citizens and certain Green Card holders are allowed to make donations to campaigns.
Is this true? I was sorely tempted to donate earlier this year (though I didn't in the end) but I thought I'd read that a few British Shipmates had donated.
That's true, I didn't contribute to one of the campaigns in the Republican primary because to that rule.
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tclune
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quote:
Originally posted by Zwingli:
quote:
Originally posted by RooK:
I seem to recall that it was widely reported that Palin continued including falsehoods in her stump speech even after they were pointed out to her.

RooK, she's a politician. They all continue repeating falsehoods even after they've been pointed out to them. Palin is just less articulate and less crafty, making her more obvious than most. Compare with, say, President Clinton for someone at the other end of the scale, but just as willing to knowingly repeat falsehoods.
I find this moral equivalence argument particularly dishonest and offensive. The thrust of it appears to be that, because Dems have said that McCain would cut Medicare in ways that can't be supported by the facts, it's fair game to claim that Obama is a Muslim who pals around with terrorists. The idea that any misrepresentation by one side provides moral cover for every conceivable character assassination by the other is foul beyond words.

This isn't just a matter of Gov. Palin lacking "art," she is in effect inciting to violence. There is a reason that the grey eminences of the GOP have come out for Obama, and it isn't because they have turned into Democrats -- it's because they are scared of the brown shirts in their own party, and choose order over chaos.

--Tom Clune

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Zwingli
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Honestly, that's a bizarre misrepresentation of what I wrote. First, I didn't say I was referring to what Mr Clinton has said about McCain during this campaign; it was his many and varied distortions during his Presidency that I was thinking of. Second, has Palin repeated the "Obama is a Muslim" line? I haven't heard of her saying that. As for the "palling around with terrorists" I think Palin was stupid to say it, but from what I gather, it is arguable that Obama was some kind of an associate of someone who could reasonably be described as having been a terrorist. And I didn't say that Palin was morally justified in any of her dishonesty, only that other politicians were guilty of the same sin, but were usually more circumspect about it.

Try reading what I say with a little care and intelligence, and not assuming the worst, before you accuse my argument of being "particularly dishonest and offensive" and you might look like slightly less of a hypocrite, as I think that phrase describes your response to my post.

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cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
tclune I find this moral equivalence argument particularly dishonest and offensive. The thrust of it appears to be that, because Dems have said that McCain would cut Medicare in ways that can't be supported by the facts, it's fair game to claim that Obama is a Muslim who pals around with terrorists. The idea that any misrepresentation by one side provides moral cover for every conceivable character assassination by the other is foul beyond words.
No, no, that's not why they have to tell lies. They were forced to lie about Obama because he wouldn't agree to town hall meetings. So you see McCain is perfectly innocent-- he had no choice. Everyone knows that without town hall meetings you are legally and logistically required to lie.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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mousethief

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The problem, Zwingli, is that your post seems like a moral equivalence argument ("the other side does it too"). It is particularly heard on Fox Noise, and forms part of their ridiculous claim to be "fair and balanced" -- if they have to say something negative about a Republican, they will find something negative -- no matter how slight -- to say about a Democrat in roughly the same vein, and then claim they were being fair and balanced. As if the point of fairness is to smear both sides equally, rather than to accurately portray the truth. And of course they do neither.

So when someone talks about Palin's obvious lies, distortions, and inciting to violence, having someone come along and say, "yeah well all politicians do that" really hits a sour note. It's kind of like someone with an autistic or ADHD child being told "yeah well all children do X" where X, in a particular degree or under particular circumstances, is one of the defining characteristics of autism or ADHD. Well yes, all children do that, but not to the degree that it makes their lives at times a living hell.

Similarly yes all politicians lie. But Sarah Palin is not all politicians, and her lies and hate speech aren't on a par with those of most politicians. She skews the average up.

Given your known conservatism, it also sounds like special pleading but that could go for most posts here. Although I haven't seen a lot of godless librulls here defending misdeeds by their candidates using the "oh yeah everybody does that" defense. At least not in the last several pages, I dunno, it's a long thread and my memory is comparatively short.

[ 03. November 2008, 13:17: Message edited by: mousethief ]

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Zwingli:
Every President for the last century at least has been an enemy of the Constitution. FDR was the worst, followed by GWB, TR, Nixon and LBJ. But I don't think there has been a single President in the last hundred years (and probably not since before Lincoln) who would let the Constitution interfere with their plans if they thought they could get away with it. I don't see Palin as being especially bad in that regard.

A delightful example of the moral equivalence argument.

And a ridiculous list if Woodrow Wilson isn't near or at the top. OMG what a black day that was. We're lucky Bush wasn't a scholar or he might have read about some of WW's shenanigans and gone even further than he did. (deliberately left ambiguous)

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eeGAD

Wandering Stowaway
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quote:
Originally posted by Zwingli:
As for the "palling around with terrorists" I think Palin was stupid to say it . . . .

Didn't she repeat this statement? Was it stupid just the first time, or every time she repeated it?

Given the interviews she's given on camera and in print, she strikes me as someone who is vastly more talented at repeating pre-programmed statements than she is at formulating her own coherent statements.

eeG

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You don't fix faith. It fixes you. - Shepherd Book

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tclune
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
So you see McCain is perfectly innocent-- he had no choice. Everyone knows that without town hall meetings you are legally and logistically required to lie.

David Broder, a columnist for the Washington Post, made a point that bears repeating about Sen. McCain. He said that McCain has kept the right-wing attack dogs of the Republican party from making racist robo calls in a way that he could deny responsibility for. I don't know if that's true, but it wouldn't surprise me. McCain is an honorable man who has run a very poorly-executed campaign. I would like to think that he drew a firm line against such tactics, and Mr. Broder may well be reporting something that he knows to be true. FWIW.

--Tom Clune

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Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
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quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemrw:
all of the members of her psychic hotline group (no, really, don't ask) are depressed because none of them see Obama as the next president,

What about putting them up against this site? Psychics vs statisticians no spitting, no gouging, no rabbit(sfoot) punches.
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cliffdweller
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I don't think I would go quite that far, but it does seem that McCain is troubled by his own campaign strategy, which is basically employing the same vicious, low, swift-boat tactics that were used by Bush against him in 2000. He seems to look the other way for as long as he can, then just can't take it anymore (as when he blew up at his own crowd when they were shouting that Obama is a racist and they were "afraid" of him being elected).

My general impression of McCain is the same as yours-- that he appears to be a honorable and reasonable man, however much that impression has been belied the last few months. My guess is that McCain has seen how poorly the country has been run, knows we would have been better off the last 8 years if he'd gotten the GOP nod instead of W (of course, the same could be said of a semi-trained monkey...) He knew this was his last chance at the presidency and decided to go all in, so he threw his lot in with the very folks that not too long ago he rightly labeled "agents of intolerance". But now that he's gotten in bed with them, I think he's finding the decision very hard to live with.

The tragic part from his perspective is that he's likely to lose, so that in the end he will have gambled his integrity, his reputation and his honor on a losing hand.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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cliffdweller
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sorry, lost my edit window. That last post was for tclune re: Broder's impressions of McCain.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Foolhearty
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# 6196

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<<TANGENT ALERT>>
quote:
Originally posted by Zwingli:

As to IQ tests - I find them very useful, but then no doubt I'm biased as I tend to do well on them. Like it or not people will always try to gauge the intellectual ability of others, and a standardised IQ test seems as good a way as any to do that in a limited amount of time in a mostly unbiased manner.

This is one of the more persistent, false, and potentially damaging aspects of such tests. Their scoring may be unbiased, esp. if machine-scored. But the actual content of such tests -- the items getting scored -- is human-generated and therefore subject to all kinds of social, class-based, cultural, linguistic, and experiential bias.

quote:
Originally posted by Zwingli:
Maybe there are people who are very clever in other ways who do poorly on them, and they find them frustrating, but that applies to anything, from a college exam to a conversation to an online bulletin board. I can usually guess the IQ (when they do the test on Facebook) of my old friends and acquaintances to a pretty high degree of accuracy, even those I haven't seen in a decade or more, so there must be some correlation with real life applied intellect for me to be able to estimate their IQ from knowing them IRL.

Alternatively, your own set of biases may closely resemble that of typical test-makers (in addition to resembling, perhaps, those of individuals with whom you form close associations).

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Fear doesn't empty tomorrow of its perils; it empties today of its power.

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Crœsos
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The image of McCain as an honorable man who just happens to do dishonorable things is one of the most infuriating recurrent themes in American politics. This is not the first time he's sacrificed his reputed principles for electoral gain. You may recall the 2000 Republican primary in South Carolina. Today it's more infamous for Bush and Rove's sleazy "black lovechild" robocalls against McCain, but there was also a controversy about the Confederate battle flag flying over the statehouse, something started in the mid-1950s denoting defiance to integration. While campaigning, McCain's position, complete with dog whistles, was:

quote:
The question of where the Confederate flag should fly in South Carolina should be left up to the people of South Carolina to decide without outside interference.

In Arizona, we resented it when outsiders parachuted in to tell us what to do about a Martin Luther King holiday, I am sure the people of South Carolina feel the same way about outsiders trying to impose their views.

As to how I view the flag, I understand both sides.

Some view it as a symbol of slavery; others view it as a symbol of heritage. Personally, I see the battle flag as a symbol of heritage.

For those unfamiliar with American racism and its terminology, it is common to blame any racial issue on "outsiders" ("outside agitators", in the words of Bull Connor), slams at Martin Luther King are almost required, and the "white" in front of "heritage" is always silent.

After he lost, McCain decided that he didn't want to be remembered for this rather sleazy appeal to closeted racism and apologized for what he called a "sacrifice of principle for personal ambition".

quote:
I believe the flag should be removed from your Capitol, and I am encouraged that fair-minded people on both sides of the issue are working hard to define an honorable compromise.
The American press seems to have taken this self-serving apology as sincere, but a more cynical interpretation was that McCain learned, either then or long before, that sleazy behavior can always be papered over after the fact with a sincere-sounding apology.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Foolhearty
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[Overused]

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Fear doesn't empty tomorrow of its perils; it empties today of its power.

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Geneviève

Mother-Hatting Cat Lover
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I used to think of McCain as an honorable man. Now I think of him as a politician who trades on his "honorable" reputation and his POW stint. When I read about his successful efforts to destroy the evidence that POW's were left in Vietnam to rot and die by classifying all the information on POWs--well, that was the final straw.
Just thinking of McCain/Palin in the White House is enough to give me nightmares. I am afraid I won't even be able to follow much of the election news, I am so nervous about this.

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"Ineffable" defined: "I cannot and will not be effed with." (Courtesy of CCTooSweet in Running the Books)

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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He does make a good comedian though -- we watched the SNL sketch with him and Tina Fey and he was great. Helps they had good writing.

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Imaginary Friend

Real to you
# 186

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I'm surprised that this prank call from 'Nicholas Sarkozy' to Gov. Palin hasn't surfaced on this thread yet. It's hilarious, especially the panic that you can hear in the background once the comedians tell her what's going on.

I don't honestly think it'll have a great impact on anyone's opinions, but it's good for a giggle [Smile]

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"We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass."
Brian Clough

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Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

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quote:
Originally posted by davelarge:
I'm surprised that this prank call from 'Nicholas Sarkozy' to Gov. Palin hasn't surfaced on this thread yet. It's hilarious, especially the panic that you can hear in the background once the comedians tell her what's going on.

I don't honestly think it'll have a great impact on anyone's opinions, but it's good for a giggle [Smile]

Actually Gort posted it two days ago.

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"...that is generally a matter for Pigwidgeon, several other consenting adults, a bottle of cheap Gin and the odd giraffe."
~Tortuf

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ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by Geneviève:
Just thinking of McCain/Palin in the White House is enough to give me nightmares. I am afraid I won't even be able to follow much of the election news, I am so nervous about this.

Ah, but you might get the good news first!

Maybe the opinion polls are right. Maybe Obama will win. The fat lady isn't singing yet. Though maybe she's started tapping her feet, clicking her fingers, and humming. I think she's humming "People get ready..." Or "I was born by the river..." I hope she is.

I don't have a horse in this race, being a loony-lefty Brit. But I think I do very much want to see Obama win. Not so much because I think he will change anything important in the USA as because it will be evidence that some important things about the USA have already changed.

An Obama win might not make America a better place - but it will show that America already is a better place than some of us thought it was.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Zwingli
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
The problem, Zwingli, is that your post seems like a moral equivalence argument ("the other side does it too"). It is particularly heard on Fox Noise, and forms part of their ridiculous claim to be "fair and balanced" -- if they have to say something negative about a Republican, they will find something negative -- no matter how slight -- to say about a Democrat in roughly the same vein, and then claim they were being fair and balanced. As if the point of fairness is to smear both sides equally, rather than to accurately portray the truth. And of course they do neither.
<Snip>

Given your known conservatism, it also sounds like special pleading but that could go for most posts here. Although I haven't seen a lot of godless librulls here defending misdeeds by their candidates using the "oh yeah everybody does that" defense. At least not in the last several pages, I dunno, it's a long thread and my memory is comparatively short.

I think you've misunderstood me a little. I used Clinton as an example of someone at the opposite end of the articulate/inarticulate scale from Palin, not as an example of someone at the opposite end of the political spectrum. Perhaps it would have been better if I had mentioned Reagan instead of Clinton; read his name in Clinton's place if your like. The point I was trying to make was not that Democrats lie so it is OK for Republicans to lie, but that Palin's lies were more obvious because she was so much less articulate and knowledgeable and subtle than many other politicians. I'm sorry if it sounded like moral equivalence, I never meant to imply it was OK for her to do it, or that Democrats were as bad or worse than Republicans.

As for my "known conservatism" perhaps you haven't read my posts very clearly the last five years. I'm not a conservative in the McCain/Palin sense, and I think I said earlier on this thread that I didn't support McCain over Obama, and I wasn't very impressed with either of them (that's still essentially my position). I have no interest in "special pleading" on behalf of Governor Palin.

As for breaking the Constitution - Wilson was next on my list. [Smile] But I had to end the list somewhere, and there was a lot of competition. My point was not to argue that various violations of the Constitution were morally equivalent - as though minor financial shenanigans were as bad as starting an illegal war - but to point out that the important thing is not whether or not a politician knows the Constitution (as Palin had been accused of not knowing it) but whether or not they intended to keep it, and that being highly learned and erudite were no guarantee on that score.

Foolhearty - I'm aware that there are inevitable biases in IQ tests, that's why I said mostly unbiased. The question is not whether or not the tests are perfect, but what other methods exist for giving an approximate measure of comparative intellectual capability under similar constraints. If you know of any better methods, please let me know. I doubt that my own biases have a particularly strong correlation with those of test makers (whose biases I know nothing about) but even if they do, my point was to argue that higher scores on such tests do demonstrably correlate with higher observable intelligence in both academic situations and everyday life, even if the definition of 'observable intelligence' I'm using is biased.

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Imaginary Friend

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quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
quote:
Originally posted by davelarge:
I'm surprised that this prank call from 'Nicholas Sarkozy' to Gov. Palin hasn't surfaced on this thread yet.

Actually Gort posted it two days ago.
D'oh. Didn't look far enough back. [Hot and Hormonal]

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"We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass."
Brian Clough

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art dunce
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# 9258

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quote:
ken posted:
An Obama win might not make America a better place - but it will show that America already is a better place than some of us thought it was.

[Overused]

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Ego is not your amigo.

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agrgurich
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Obama is likely to win tomorrow. The reporters will be fawning over him for 4 years just as they did with JFK. Include me out. [Projectile]

Obama-350
McCain-188

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Life is a comedy to those who think & a tragedy to those who feel.-Horace Walpole

AJG

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cliffdweller
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quote:
The reporters will be fawning over him for 4 years just as they did with JFK.
Naw. No controversy, no ratings, no glory. The minute he's elected the press-- and more significantly, the comics-- will turn on him. He just makes their job a bit harder. But hey, they've had it easy the last 8 years with W, and Palin was an early Christmas gift sent from heaven above, so it's time the comics had to work for a living.

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trouty
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Are the polls accurate? I think they were last time.
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tclune
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quote:
Originally posted by agrgurich:
Obama is likely to win tomorrow. The reporters will be fawning over him for 4 years just as they did with JFK. Include me out.

I'm guessing that you were too young to remember the Kennedy presidency. A couple of minor points:

1. He was assassinated a couple of years into his presidency (it was in all the papers...) So, unless you are talking about posthumous fawning, it was over in less than four years.

2. Almost as soon as he took office, there was a small glitch. It was called the Bay of Pigs fiasco, and was also in all the papers. It was not seen as a triumph of leadership by anyone I remember. When we purchased back the invading army with tractors, it was a national disgrace. You could look it up...

3. When he appointed his brother Attorney General, it was widely condemned as nepotism. I don't recall any positive coverage of that choice.

4. The union-busting that Kennedy orchestrated in response to the steel strike (invoking "national security" in a manner rather reminiscent of GW)was reviled by unions and their liberal allies. Unions never recovered, and were on life-support until Reagan administered the coup de grace during the PATCO strike.

5. The Cuban missile crisis was the closest we ever came to an all-out nuclear exchange. It scared the Hell out of everybody, and only became a shining example of Kennedy's "leadership" after his death.

There were various things that he didn't get blamed for during his lifetime, and were only understood after his death. That fact seems to have kept him from being blamed for them. These include committing troops to fighting in Vietnam; assassinations of Diem and Lumumba; etc.

The cult of Kennedy worship among journalists pretty much started after his assassination if my memory is at all accurate.

--Tom Clune

[ 03. November 2008, 18:59: Message edited by: tclune ]

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This space left blank intentionally.

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leftfieldlover
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# 13467

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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
quote:
Originally posted by Geneviève:
Just thinking of McCain/Palin in the White House is enough to give me nightmares. I am afraid I won't even be able to follow much of the election news, I am so nervous about this.

Ah, but you might get the good news first!

Maybe the opinion polls are right. Maybe Obama will win. The fat lady isn't singing yet. Though maybe she's started tapping her feet, clicking her fingers, and humming. I think she's humming "People get ready..." Or "I was born by the river..." I hope she is.

I don't have a horse in this race, being a loony-lefty Brit. But I think I do very much want to see Obama win. Not so much because I think he will change anything important in the USA as because it will be evidence that some important things about the USA have already changed.

An Obama win might not make America a better place - but it will show that America already is a better place than some of us thought it was.

My thoughts exactly Ken! I'm still nervous though and will try and stay up until about 1 am to watch the results coming in.
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ken
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OK this is a prediction thread so I risk some predictions. Which incidentally I don't believe, but they do test a hypothesis I have thought about for years. If a spurious theory that I am too embarrassed even to explain is true, then Obama is likely to do worse than opinion polls predict in Iowa, Oregon, New Hampshire, Idaho, Vermont, Maine, Wyoming, North Dakota and especially Minnesota.

And I didn't realise until I just typed that in that that is more or less the Canadian border! I was looking at state income statistics and census figures. & making scatter plots on graphs and looking for outliers.

The theory (as should be obvious) is based on the observation that white voters most likely to NOT vote for a black candidate standing for their normal party are low-income and middle-income voters who DON'T live alongside large ethnic minority populations. Now that theory is based on electoral differences between inner-cities and suburbs. The US Presidential election depends on states, a much large scale granularity. So its perfectly possible that it won't make any difference at this level.

If it does apply it might be good news for Democrats in the midland east-coast states (Pennsylvania/Maryland/Delaware/New Jersey - all of which they are expected to do well in anyway) but also in the Old South in the suburban penumbras of Washington, the Research Triangle and Atlanta. Obama might do better than polls suggest in Virginia (which is now an above-average income state), North Carolina and Georgia, not just because black voters are more likely to vote for him but because if the hypothesis is true (and I have no idea if it is) well-off white voters who are used to living alongside black people are less likely not to.


As you may have noticed. I am an Electoral Process Nerd. I love the business of elections the way some people love football. Its compulsive watching even when my team loses. I'm British and an old lefty (of the voices we've been hearing over the past few months I'm probably emotionally most in tune with Jeremiah Wright, with a little bit of Joe Biden thrown in). So I don't have a team in this game. But like a football fan who is watching another game on TV when his own side aren't playing, I know which team I want to see lose.

So when does the fat lady start singing? Assuming they start talking about exit polls at closing time then we get early clues Here is a good map of US poll closing times Times are EST so add five hours for GMT. Interested Brits should be watching TV at pub closing time.

NB some early-closing states have a few polling stations open later, some keep polls open if there are still people waiting to vote at closing time, and some have a history of legal challenges to closing times on polling day itself - its not unknown for lawyers and even judges to turn up at the polling places and start waving injunctions about. How very different from the home life of our own dear queen.

Apparently Indiana and Kentucky go first (why? Are their officals not allowed out after dark? 6pm is a ridiculous time to close polls.) Kentucky is not in play, but if Obama wins Indiana (most polls say he won't) then that's our first big hint he's likely to win the whole election by a landslide.

The second batch includes Virginia, Georgia, Vermont and New Hampshire, and most of Florida. Vermont and New Hampshire are small, have a history of weird politics, and are expected to go for Obama, but occasionaly poll for McCain (especially NH) Their results are probably not significant outside a very close race. If McCain wins narrowly (never mind loses) in Virginia I think we have reason to expect an Obama win. If McCain loses in South Carolina, that's probably evidence that the African American turnout has significantly helped Obama & will indicate a big Democrat win unless the Republicans get an unexpected large north-eastern state, or recover a lot of lost ground in the West. Georgia woudl be an even stronger indication the same way. Florida was until recently thought very likely to go with whoever wins, though if we can believe all the pundits both sides secretly believe they can win without it. And there is a lot of bad feeling in Florida from 2000 and 2004. So its a grudge match. Poor exit polls for Obama in Florida - say below 48/49% of the populat vote - woudl be our first clue of yet another real disaster for the Democrats.

7.30pm EST has Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina. If the same person wins Ohio as wins Florida, that person is a good bet for winning the election. (Though going by the current polls Obama has a chance without either of them if he can win Colorado and New Mexico) So unless there is something very weird going on there should be a decent guess at the final result by 19.30 EST (midnight-30 GMT) before any of the really big states have entirely closed their ballots.

Though that is exit polls of course. Actual results follow quite quickly, and most counts are in two to three hours later IIRC. So we ought to know the truth of it by 10pm EST, 3am GMT. I say that, but I'd have said that last time, when the uncertainty went on till Thursday, and I'd have said in 2000 when it nearly lasted till Christmas. So don't believe a word of what I say.

If there is still confusion - if the early exit polls are close, or there are some unusual swings in different directions - then there is a bit of a wait. A lot of states close in at 8pm EST. Most of them are small of course. Texas and Illinois are probably foregone conclusions, and if Obama loses Pennsylvania then he'd have to be doing very well everywhere else to have a chance.

Many western states and also Lousiana and New York close polls at 9pm EST. It looks like those New Yorkers aren't afraid of the dark. Louisiana is an odd place at the moment - some forecasters are suggesting it goes heavily Republican because a lot of likely Democrat voters are displaced from hurricanes and floods, others say that local resentment against the Bush goverment's failure to cope with Katrina will lead to republican meltdown. But by that stage we'll probably be able to call the final result.

Yes California is important. The most important state of all. But as no-one actually believes the Republicans will win any Electoral College votes there, only locals will still be paying attention. As for Alaska and Hawaii, the sun will be rising over the Florida Keys before their final count is in. Not that anyone imagines that there will be any surprises there. If the final result depends on the Aleutian Islands I think we can confidently predict the End Of The World As We Know It.

--------------------
Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

Posts: 39579 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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Here's my predictions: I stay in America if Obama wins; I move back to the UK asap if McCain should win.
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ChastMastr
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# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
The tragic part from his perspective is that he's likely to lose, so that in the end he will have gambled his integrity, his reputation and his honor on a losing hand.

Heck, it's almost a classical tragedy, right on down to the moral lesson to be learned about sticking to one's principles and not letting the ends justify immoral means. I used to have respect for McCain too.

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by tclune:
The cult of Kennedy worship among journalists pretty much started after his assassination if my memory is at all accurate.

--Tom Clune

Your memory is not at all accurate. Kennedy was enormously popular throughout his presidency with most Americans, journalists included. Using Gallup poll data (the only polling data set going back that far), Kennedy still has the highest term-length net approval rating (percent approve minus percent disapprove) of any U.S. President in the Gallup data set. Here's a list of U.S. Presidents, ranked by popularity while in office (according to Gallup).

1) Kennedy +54.0
2) Eisenhower +44.0
3) G. H. W. Bush +31.1
4) Johnson +24.4
5) Clinton +17.2
6) Reagan +15.8
7) Nixon +14.6
8) Ford +9.7
9) Carter +6.2
10) Truman +4.95
11) G. W. Bush +4.86

Bush Jr.'s net approval ratings only go as far as the most recent Gallup poll (10/10-12/08), obviously, but it would take a pretty hefty post-election "nostalgia bump" to move him past Truman at this point.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Nicolemr
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# 28

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Just as a personal note, my daughter never recieved her absentee ballot (her own fault for not mailing the application until so late) so she's taking the bus down from her college tomorrow first thing in the morning to the city simply to vote. Her first election, it'll be nice being able to do it with her!

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On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
Yes California is important. The most important state of all. But as no-one actually believes the Republicans will win any Electoral College votes there, only locals will still be paying attention.

Nope. Lots of people across the country will be watching to see whether we pass or defeat Proposition 8, which would write a ban on gay marriage into the state constitution and throw into legal limbo all the marriages of gay people that have taken place since June. If we defeat the proposition, there will be fights all over the country on whether these folks' marriages will be recognized by other states.

I have been promoted by the No on 8 campaign to "rover" -- I won't be handing out propaganda tomorrow after all; I'll be driving all over the city to take care of those who are, delivering stuff, making sure they're okay, etc. And someone told me it's supposed to rain here tomorrow. [Waterworks]

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trouty
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I have just read that Obama's grandmother has died. A personal sadness for Obama but wil it have any significance for the election?
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Alogon
Cabin boy emeritus
# 5513

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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
Obama is likely to do worse than opinion polls predict.... The theory (as should be obvious) is based on the observation that white voters most likely to NOT vote for a black candidate standing for their normal party are low-income and middle-income voters who DON'T live alongside large ethnic minority populations.

This is probably true, Ken, but by itself it doesn't explain why the polls would be mistaken. You must also predict that they will vote Republican after saying otherwise-- in other words, that the Bradley effect applies.

The extent of the Bradley effect on this election is a huge question mark. Of its nature it resists testing before the fact. But as a Wisconsin native, I don't think that these are the kind of people who would be particularly inclined to dissemble their opinions. The atmosphere in the upper midwest has a history of progressivism and respect for education (and for inquiry as a means thereto). There is a joke, which I'm afraid is believable, about the members of a certain denomination popular in the South, how they don't greet one another if they happen to meet in a liquor store. That just doesn't sound like the people I grew up with. The predominant churches (Roman Catholic and Lutheran) in this region have more sophisticated ways of dealing with human foibles than schizophrenia and whited-sepulchre denial.

I, too, am afraid that the election, at best, will be much closer than the polls are telling us; but I don't see why the pollsters' overstatement of the margin should apply particularly to the States you mentioned. However, I'm an habitual fatalist. Did Obama's costly "infomercial" do anything for him in the polls whatsoever? What I see over the past 36 hours on the map is the paling of two crucial States once considered safe. If Obama is clearly President-Elect on Wednesday morning, then there really will be time for audacity of hope.

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Patriarchy (n.): A belief in original sin unaccompanied by a belief in God.

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kentishmaid
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# 4767

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I'm a bit worried that these people could be right. Are his assertions at all credible?

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"Who'll be the lady, who'll be the lord, when we are ruled by the love of one another?"

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
Obama is likely to do worse than opinion polls predict in Iowa, Oregon, New Hampshire, Idaho, Vermont, Maine, Wyoming, North Dakota and especially Minnesota.

And I didn't realise until I just typed that in that that is more or less the Canadian border!

For values of "more or less" approaching less than 50%? I can mail you a map if you send me your address. Washington, Montana, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan also make up the border -- indeed more than half. And needless to say Oregon, Iowa and Wyoming aren't even on the border at all.

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Washington, Montana, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan also make up the border -- indeed more than half. And needless to say Oregon, Iowa and Wyoming aren't even on the border at all.

I know that. I was looking at a map when I wrote what I wrote. And I have no idea if what I wrote is true at all (& I really don;t want it to be true) But I just noiticed when I plotted average incomes against the proportion of black citizens that low-income states with lower than average proportions of African-Americans tend to be near the northern border

[ 04. November 2008, 00:58: Message edited by: ken ]

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