Friday, November 02, 2012

The Final Countdown


Sunset over Marin. 1000 px.

Vote yet? Some good reads to help you along...

The Republican Rejection of a Green Future: "It is easy to understand what motivates the coal and oil industries and the Koch brothers. The mystery is why Romney and his party have tied themselves to the wrong side of history. The last time the U.S. went through this kind of struggle between the old and new economy -- when the emerging national economy of railroads, banks and manufacturing challenged the localized agrarian economy of farmers and small towns in the 1870s and 1880s -- the past lost. Much of big business -- from General Motors Co. to General Electric Co. -- is solidly on the side of the future this time."

The Blackmail Caucus: "So we shouldn't worry about the ability of a re-elected Obama to get things done. On the other hand, it’s reasonable to worry that Republicans will do their best to make America ungovernable during a second Obama term. After all, they have been doing that ever since Mr. Obama took office."

On Health Care, Romney Is the Radical: "Notice a theme here? For every program and for every group of people, Romney seeks to ratchet back the protection that exists. Seniors wouldn’t have the guarantee of benefits Medicare now provides. The poor wouldn’t be sure they’d have access to Medicaid as they do now. Working people couldn’t depend on the same level or availability of private insurance. Relative to what most people experience today, let alone relative to what most people will experience tomorrow under Obamacare, they’d have less protection from medical bills—and, as a result, less access to care. As Ed Kilgore aptly put it a few months ago, it's "repeal and reverse."

The tax report Senate Republicans don’t want you to see" "CRS’s analysis is fairly simple, and not even all that new. They note that at many points in the 20th century, America had much higher top marginal tax rates than we do now. So they ran some regressions and marshaled some research in order to see if they could detect any evident relationship between high tax rates and growth, productivity, income inequality, or other key economic indicators. The answer? Not really."

Economic data show more growth under Democrats" "But despite the view held by many that the GOP is the party of economic prosperity and soaring stock markets, the opposite has historically been true. Over the past six decades, Republican administrations have produced median economic growth of 2.6 percent. Democratic administrations, meanwhile, have produced a median growth rate of 4.2 percent."

OH: Romney Fate Is Hamilton County as Obama Angst Vies With Unknown: "This is the grind-it-out reality for the Obama and Romney forces as Nov. 6 Election Day approaches in Hamilton County, the third-largest in the state. Former President George W. Bush carried the county by a little more than 20,000 votes in 2004 and Obama won in 2008 by just under 30,000 -- making it the epicenter of a state that may decide the presidential election. Both campaigns are grappling for advantage in turning out supporters and appealing to the sliver of voters who are still undecided and may hold the key to victory -- both here and in the national election."

Nightmare scenario: The election night that might not end: "Take the critical battleground state of Ohio for instance. In that state, people can vote absentee or in person. But if you request an absentee ballot and still show up on election day at your polling station, you get what's known as a 'provisional ballot.' Now, analysts may call results earlier if the margin between the winner and the loser in that state is greater than the number of provisional ballots cast. But if it's not … and there is a very narrow margin of difference, we will all have to wait for the provisional ballots to be counted. And according to Ohio law, that counting cannot commence before November 17."

Ballot Proposals: State Voters to Decide on Food Labeling, Green Infrastructure, Renewable Energy"Voters in several states will be casting ballots Nov. 6 on a variety of environmental and energy issues both at the state and local levels, including labeling of genetically modified foods and financing of green infrastructure and alternative energy projects."

Federal court exempts Mich. company from contraception mandate: "The Michigan ruling is a narrow one, applicable only to the one company. It does not bar the Health and Human Services Department from implementing the policy nationwide, but it's nevertheless a small win for social conservatives who say the contraception policy violates the First Amendment. The Michigan case was filed by the owner of Weingartz Supply, a family-owned business that does not provide contraception in its health plan because of the owner's Catholic faith."