click on a date to see all the day's entries
About TitusOneNineOld Titusonenine site (Jan04-May07)
Kendall's e-mail (replace -at- with @)
"Elves" e-mail (blog admin)
A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
Blog Tips & Info
Info to help you learn your way around the new blog, and posts where you can report problems or offer suggestionsMobile-friendly view (blog headlines): Click Here
Print-friendly view of all articles: Click Here
Recent Comments Page:
Registration & Login Help
Blog Tips Series
The above list is limited to "parent" categories. To see the entire category index and select specific sub-categories, click on "Full Category Index"
Full Category Index
Anglican / Episcopal RSS Feed
©2013 Kendall S. Harmon. All rights reserved.
TitusOneNine Links Page
I. Anglican / Episcopal Resources & Links
1. Important Documents
documents are in chronological order, most recent first
Also, don't miss:
2. Websites & Blogs
A. Official websites
B. Anglican / Episcopal News
C. Anglican / Episcopal Blogs
By no means exhaustive. Let us know what we've missed
Previous versions of Titusonenine:
NORTH AMERICAN ANGLICANS:
INTERNATIONAL ANGLICAN BLOGS & BLOGGERS
BLOGGING BISHOPS (US & Overseas)
II. General Resources & Links
YET more links coming soon...! including Non-Anglican links
Congressional negotiators, trying to avert a fiscal crisis in January, are examining ideas that would allow effective tax rates to rise for the wealthy without technically raising the top tax rate of 35 percent. They hope the proposals will advance negotiations by allowing both parties to claim they stood their ground.
One possible change would tax the entire salary earned by those making more than a certain level — $400,000 or so — at the top rate of 35 percent rather than allowing them to pay lower rates before they reach the target, as is the standard formula. That plan would allow Republicans to say they did not back down in their opposition to raising marginal tax rates and Democrats to say they prevailed by increasing effective tax rates on the rich. At the same time, it would provide an initial effort to reduce the deficit, which the negotiators call a down payment, as Congressional tax-writing committees hash out a broad overhaul of the tax code.
That idea could be combined with the reinstatement of tax code provisions that once prevented the rich from taking personal exemptions or itemizing deductions. Those rules were eliminated by the tax cut of 2001. Reinstating them would tack an additional one to two percentage points onto the effective tax rates of high-income households without raising the 35 percent rate, but which households would be affected has not been decided. In all, tax experts say, families in the top tax bracket would find their effective tax rate jump to 41 percent, even though the top statutory rate would remain 35 percent.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Housing/Real Estate Market Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market The U.S. Government Budget The National Deficit Politics in General House of Representatives Office of the President President Barack Obama Senate US Presidential Election 2012
Most of the increases would result from the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts, which would cause marginal rates to rise. Simultaneously, several temporary tax breaks pushed by President Barack Obamaafter the financial crisis also would end.
And most households—121 million in all—would be hit by an increase in the payroll tax that employees pay to 6.2% from 4.2%.
Also expiring at year-end is a provision to reduce the so-called marriage penalty, a set of tax provisions that require many couples to pay higher taxes when they file jointly. And millions more families' earnings this year would be subject to the alternative minimum tax. The AMT was originally intended to prevent the very wealthy from avoiding taxes but would apply to middle-class households if policy makers don't renew a provision that expired last year.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Personal Finance Taxes The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- The U.S. Government Budget The National Deficit Politics in General House of Representatives Office of the President President Barack Obama Senate US Presidential Election 2012
...the biggest loopholes in the U.S. Tax Code — generally referred to as tax expenditures — aren’t just the tricks of the trade for millionaires with offshore bank accounts. For the vast majority of Americans, they’re just how things work: You don’t pay taxes on your health insurance or Medicare benefits; you contribute tax-free to your 401(k); and your mortgage interest pushes down your tax bill each year.
And even if you dump the biggest of the set, these tax perks don’t even come close to closing the deficit. At best, the top 10 would pull in an extra $834 billion a year, according to Joint Committee on Taxation figures. Considering the hole lawmakers are trying to fill is several trillion dollars large, it’s clear they wouldn’t even come close.
Here are the 10 biggest tax loopholes — and the reasons why most of them will survive the fiscal cliff....
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Personal Finance Taxes The U.S. Government Budget The National Deficit Politics in General House of Representatives Office of the President President Barack Obama Senate US Presidential Election 2012
U.S. companies are scaling back investment plans at the fastest pace since the recession, signaling more trouble for the economic recovery.
Half of the nation's 40 biggest publicly traded corporate spenders have announced plans to curtail capital expenditures this year or next, according to a review by The Wall Street Journal of securities filings and conference calls.
Nationwide, business investment in equipment and software—a measure of economic vitality in the corporate sector—stalled in the third quarter for the first time since early 2009. Corporate investment in new buildings has declined.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Globalization * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Taxes The U.S. Government The National Deficit Politics in General House of Representatives Office of the President President Barack Obama Senate US Presidential Election 2012
"Mitt Romney has opened doors. He has made Mormonism much more respectable," says Charles Dunn, a professor at Regent University, and author of numerous books on politics and religion.
"He came out of this campaign as an honourable person, and that bodes well. He is the best missionary Mormons could have."
At the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the official name of the Mormon Church) in Salt Lake City, Utah, there appears to be a similar mood of optimism. Although they have not given figures on whether membership numbers are up, enquiries certainly are. Mormons make up about 2% of Americans, but numbers are rising steadily.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General US Presidential Election 2012 * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Mormons
One of the signs that an object is functioning as an idol is that fear becomes one of the chief characteristics of life. When we center our lives on the idol, we become dependent on it. If our counterfeit god is threatened in any way, our response is complete panic. We do not say, ‘What a shame, how difficult,’ but rather ‘This is the end! There’s no hope!’
This may be a reason why so many people now respond to U.S. political trends in such an extreme way. When either party wins an election, a certain percentage of the losing side talks openly about leaving the country. They become agitated and fearful for the future. They have put the kind of hope in their political leaders and policies that once was reserved for God and the work of the gospel. When their political leaders are out of power, they experience a death. They believe that if their policies and people are not in power, everything will fall apart. They refuse to admit how much agreement they actually have with the other party, and instead focus on the points of disagreement. The points of contention overshadow everything else, and a poisonous environment is created.
Read it all.
Should lawmakers not reach agreement prior to the end of the year, the US budget deficit for 2013 would be cut almost in half, to $560 billion.
Which doesn't sound like a bad thing. After all, the US is staggering under a monumental pile of debt and could potentially begin to face the kinds of difficulties that have plunged several euro-zone countries into crisis. It is a viewpoint shared by the ratings agencies -- a year ago, Standard & Poor's withdrew America's top rating, justifying the measure by pointing to the unending battle over the debt ceiling. The agency noted that "the political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America's governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed."
From afar, it is difficult to argue; the ongoing battle between Democrats and Republicans in the face of a horrendously imbalanced budget looks catastrophically absurd. As their country heads toward the edge of the abyss, lawmakers preferred to debate whether or not French fries and pizza should be considered vegetables.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Economics, Politics Economy Taxes The U.S. Government Budget Medicare Social Security The National Deficit Politics in General House of Representatives Office of the President President Barack Obama Senate US Presidential Election 2012
President Obama vote totals shrank in all 12 of our battleground states, as they did throughout the country. What’s particularly striking, however, is that in none of the battlegrounds did he win a majority of either mainline Protestants or Catholics, with the exception of Nevada, where the heavily Latino Catholic electorate supported him by five percentage points. So in winning ten out of the dozen, the president had to depend on non-Christians.
Read it all.
We’re more affluent than we were in the 1950s (if you don’t think so, try doing without your air conditioning, microwaves, smartphones, and Internet connections). And we have used this affluence to seal ourselves off in the America of our choosing while trying to ignore the other America.
We tend to choose the America that is culturally congenial. Most people in the San Francisco Bay area wouldn’t consider living in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, even for much better money. Most metroplexers would never relocate to the Bay Area....
One America tends to be traditionally religious, personally charitable, appreciative of entrepreneurs, and suspicious of government. The other tends to be secular or only mildly religious, less charitable, skeptical of business, and supportive of government as an instrument to advance liberal causes.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch History Psychology Religion & Culture Rural/Town Life Sociology Urban/City Life and Issues * Economics, Politics Politics in General US Presidential Election 2012
We are interested in who you are and where you live, your thoughts on the outcome and the reason, and particularly your information about your own specific region and the elections and referendum questions there. Once again, please, real names STRONGLY preferred if at all possible--KSH.
I always felt this election was between a weak incumbent and a weak campaign, and that view has not changed. I knew it was going to be very close at the popular level, and said to several friends that the only way Mitt Romney stood a chance electorally was to win Virginia, Ohio and Colorado. He lost all three.
So why did we have this outcome? There are a lot of reasons, but in my view the main ones are these:
The incumbency is a powerful thing--always has been, but all the more so today when the (office and position of the) Presidency has gained more power (too much power?) than before.
The Republican primary season was too long, and focused way too much on small ball.
Mitt Romney ran a weak campaign. He failed to criticize the President's policies effectively, and to articulate a positive alternative vision that would excite the country.
The Democrats ran an effective campaign, and this in two senses. First, they made a strategic decision to make the campaign more about attacking their opponent than anything else. Further, they did this by deploying material early in order to paint Mitt Romney as someone from the elite upper class who was not able to identify with ordinary Americans. I have seen precious little good analysis on this, but class was one of the most important aspects of this election. It remains one of the biggest in this country (race is there for sure, but I believe class is the most important). The Republican campaign did not have an effective response to this attack.
Second, the GOTV (get out the vote campaign) and so-called ground game was more effective by the Democrats--again. I was surprised by Virginia and Florida both of which exhibit the skill here.
Finally, this is about electoral advantage. In the current make up of the country, the Democratic candidate has a much bigger starting Electoral College advantage than many have appreciated. The President invested heavily in the key battleground states as a result of being assured of so many easy wins in places like New York and California. It was this combined with the powerful ground game that won them a solid electoral majority, even though as of now it appears as though it will come from a narrow popular vote majority.
In the end, it is this simple: a weak incumbent beat a weak candidate because the election was always the formers to lose, and it didn't happen, especially electorally.
Let me end on a positive note--I am so glad we have a clear victor, and it looks like in both votes. I really do not want to go through a 2000 contested election into December again. Thankfully, it was avoided.
Let us remember that governing is MUCH harder than campaigning, and the two are not the same. And let us continue to pray that God has mercy on America--KSH.
Update: I found it interesting to go back and reread what I wrote about the 2008 campaign--Why What Happened Happened in Election 2008.
...historically, voters have given a second term to incumbent presidents who preside over even modest economic growth during an election year.
That pattern appears to have held for Obama. If the economy is not exactly roaring ahead, it improved steadily over the course of the year.
"It was never going to be a landslide," said John Sides, a political science professor at George Washington University. "But it was always his race to lose."
Read it all.
Filed under: * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Housing/Real Estate Market Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- US Presidential Election 2012
In this sense, just as Reagan Republicanism dominated the 1980s even though the Democrats controlled the House, our own era now clearly belongs to the Obama Democrats even though John Boehner is still speaker of the House.
That era will not last forever; it may not even last more than another four years. The current Democratic majority has its share of internal contradictions, and as it expands demographically it will become vulnerable to attack on many fronts. Parties are more adaptable than they seem in their moments of defeat, and there will come a day when a Republican presidential candidate will succeed where Mitt Romney just failed.
But getting there requires that conservatives face reality: The age of Reagan is officially over, and the Obama majority is the only majority we have.
Read it all.
Barack Obama won a second term but no mandate. Thanks in part to his own small-bore and brutish campaign, victory guarantees the president nothing more than the headache of building consensus in a gridlocked capital on behalf of a polarized public.
If the president begins his second term under any delusion that voters rubber-stamped his agenda on Tuesday night, he is doomed to fail.
Mandates are rarely won on election night. They are earned after Inauguration Day by leaders who spend their political capital wisely, taking advantage of events without overreaching. Obama is capable—as evidenced by his first-term success with health care reform. But mandate-building requires humility, a trait not easily associated with him.
Read it all.
The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work.
And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion. We look to our teachers and professors, we count on you not just to teach, but to inspire our children with a passion for learning and discovery.
We look to our pastors and priests and rabbis and counselors of all kinds to testify of the enduring principles upon which our society is built: honesty, charity, integrity and family.
We look to our parents, for in the final analysis everything depends on the success of our homes.
Read it all.
Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come.
Read it all.
Barack Hussein Obama was re-elected president of the United States on Tuesday, overcoming powerful economic headwinds, a lock-step resistance to his agenda by Republicans in Congress and an unprecedented torrent of advertising as a divided nation voted to give him more time.
In defeating Mitt Romney, the president carried Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia and Wisconsin, a near sweep of the battleground states, and was holding a narrow advantage in Florida. The path to victory for Mr. Romney narrowed as the night wore along, with Mr. Obama winning at least 303 electoral votes.
A cheer of jubilation sounded at the Obama campaign headquarters in Chicago when the television networks began projecting him as the winner at 11:20 p.m., even as the ballots were still being counted in many states where voters had waited in line well into the night. The victory was far narrower than his historic election four years ago, but it was no less dramatic.
Read it all.
Read it all.
Preliminary results of an exit poll conducted for The Associated Press show that the presidential election hinges once again on the economy.
The survey of voters as they leave polling places Tuesday shows 6 in 10 voters say the economy is the top issue facing the nation, with unemployment and rising prices hitting voters hard.
Read it all.
Check it out. One of my favorite analysts is Greg Valliere of the Potomac Research Group. You can watch his interview on Bloomberg TV today there. I believe his map will look like this; he has the President winning with 281 electoral votes (he and I, incidentally, differ on only one state, Ohio [and that gives me a different overall outcome]). Note also that he thinks there is a 40% chance that we will not know who won by tomorrrow morning.
There is a lot of gobbledook floating around on this election so it is important to cut to the bottom line:
(1) The President has a definite advantage in the electoral College
(2) Mitt Romney has a chance to win
(3) This is a weird year. I absolutely, positively am skeptical of many polls and much of the analysis--KSH.
Share your voting experience - how long did you wait? Any interesting observations or conversations? Where and with whom are you watching election returns tonight?
Whatever thoughts you chose to share. Please if at all possible real names and locations highly preferred. The more specific you can be the better--remember you are writing comments for people in other locales that include other countries, etc.
Americans turned out to vote Tuesday morning, facing long lines, strict new identification requirements and in some areas, polling stations without power.
Election observers said they had seen a scattering of problems this morning, including hours-long lines in South Florida, malfunctioning voting machines in key Ohio precincts and Pennsylvania poll workers asking voters to show identification when they didn't need to.
"It's already started, and it is busy," said Barbara Arnwine, the executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which monitors voting problems. "Voters are doing their part by being persistent and voting."
Read it all.
While health care and the economy are top issues for all voters, religious views do affect how voters rank other issues. Among the five belief-based faith segments analyzed in the study—evangelicals, non-evangelical born again adults, notional Christians, adults of other faiths, and religious skeptics (i.e., atheists and agnostics)—evangelicals were notably distinct from other groups in regard to what many considered their "signature issues."
Among all likely voters, abortion ranked last on the list of influential issues. Among evangelicals, though, it ranked as the third most influential issue. Only taxes and health care were deemed more important in their candidate selection. Similarly, gay marriage was ranked tenth among likely voters, but was fifth on the list among evangelicals who are likely to cast a ballot in November.
Surprisingly, educational policies were deemed the sixth most significant issue to all likely voters but ranked just tenth among evangelicals. Past studies have indicated that evangelicals are generally much less supportive of government involvement in the schooling of their children.
Read it all.
[KIM] LAWTON: Prior to 2008, scholars talked about a God-gap in American politics: the more often people attended religious services, the more likely they were to vote Republican, the exception being African Americans, who are overwhelmingly Democratic. Many experts believe that trend will continue in this election cycle. Melissa Deckman is professor of political science, at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.
PROF. MELISSA DECKMAN (Washington College): If you think about the God-gap, so-called God-gap, it’s still alive and well this year in American politics, and it’s bigger than things like the gender gap, although you often hear more in the media about women’s voting and men’s voting, so I think religion continues to play a big role in American presidential elections.
LAWTON: The Republicans are hoping for a big turnout from evangelicals, who make up about one-quarter of GOP voters. In the early days of the campaign, there were questions about whether theological differences would keep evangelicals from supporting a Mormon candidate. Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign tried to woo them on the basis of shared values.
Read or watch it all.
Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the United States (or of this community) in the election of officials and representatives; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
--Book of Common Prayer
Heavenly Father we ask that you will have mercy on America today and bless us in spite of ourselves. We ask that you will give wisdom to all who go to the polls to cast their votes. Help us as we make difficult decisions on a variety of issues and as we seek to elect men and women who will hunger for righteousness and seek the common good to positions of authority in our towns and cities, in our states and in our nation. We pray against any voter fraud or any corruption of proper voter access and ask that justice be done in each and every election, whatever the locale. We also pray for peace and grace with one another as the results are received and digested, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns in glory everlasting, Amen--KSH.
Filed under: * By Kendall * Christian Life / Church Life Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues * Economics, Politics Economy Taxes The U.S. Government Budget Politics in General City Government House of Representatives Office of the President Senate State Government US Presidential Election 2012 * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
In a journey through the nation's major swing states, from the neon of Nevada, through the grain elevator towns of Iowa, to the soccer-van suburbs of Virginia, almost everyone I encountered wants politicians in the nation's capital to put their differences aside and get something done. They don't expect it to be easy. And they don't expect law-makers to abandon their principles entirely.
What they do want is an effort to make progress on the most pressing issues of the day, from jobs to immigration to debt, without using politics as a baton to bludgeon opponents. They yearn for lawmakers to act with the same kind of urgency and civility that they do when solving problems around their kitchen tables and in their school board conference rooms....
...as Sam Castrogiovanni, a mechanic in Las Vegas for 20 years who has the grease under his fingernails to prove it, notes: "I could care less if some politician has a 'D' or an 'R' behind their name. I just want some results."
Read it all.
Finance chiefs of the world's 20 leading economies are ringing alarm bells over the U.S. fiscal cliff and Europe's debt woes at a meeting in Mexico this weekend as they look to push back deficit reduction targets to help boost growth.
Unless a fractious U.S. Congress can reach a deal, about $600 billion in government spending cuts and higher taxes are set to kick in on January 1, threatening to push the American economy back into recession and hit world growth.
"The Americans themselves acknowledge that this is a problem," a G20 official said on condition of anonymity. "The U.S. administration says it doesn't want to fall off the fiscal cliff, but right now it can't tell us how exactly it will address it because that issue is on ice ahead of the election."
Read it all.
Filed under: * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Credit Markets Currency Markets G20 Housing/Real Estate Market Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market Personal Finance Stock Market Taxes The Banking System/Sector The U.S. Government Budget The National Deficit Politics in General House of Representatives Office of the President Senate US Presidential Election 2012
I found a prayer guide I liked and used it in the Prayers of the People this morning and got good feedback. Here is the section on praying for the voters:
The VotersRead it all.
The Great American Experiment in representative government for more than 200 years has depended upon voter involvement. From the very beginning of our nation there has been debate on who should be allowed the privilege of casting a vote to select our governmental leaders. The weight of history has increasingly opened the ballot box to more and more individuals.
This requires an educated electorate who will examine the issues and the candidates and vote in a way that is best for the nation, not just their own well-being. Much prayer is needed for this critical process.
Pray today for voters in the United States, that:
Wisdom will be sought from God (James 1:5).
Self-interest will be laid aside for the common good.
Discernment between truth and falsehood will be clear.
After months spent rallying their most reliable supporters, Republican Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama reached out on Saturday to the small sliver of voters who remain undecided in the final days before Tuesday's presidential election.
With the race in a dead heat nationally, both candidates hopscotched across the country in a bid to secure any possible advantage ahead of Election Day. That meant another round of campaigning in the handful of states that remain competitive and a last-minute effort to pull votes from the other side.
Read it all.
Mormonism is something we cannot escape right now. We are in a "Mormon Moment," thanks to the candidacy of Governor Mitt Romney. Christians need to address this moment with truth and grace.
Right now, many are discussing what to call members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Is it a denomination, a cult, or another religion? How should we discuss such things in the moment?
Read it all.
While fewer Muslims are supporting Obama this year, Muslim support for Mitt Romney -- at just 7 percent, according to the CAIR poll -- is more than triple the 2.2 percent of Muslims who voted for GOP nominee John McCain in 2008.
"Muslims need tough love, not soft coddling to get over their illusions of Islamist fantasies," said Ahmed Vanya, an engineer in San Jose, Calif.
Vanya fears that many Muslims won't give Romney a fair chance.
"Many Muslims are not going to be happy with the way Romney would handle the civil rights issues," Vanya said. "Even if he follows exactly the same policies as Obama, he would be perceived as worse for the Muslims."
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General Office of the President President Barack Obama US Presidential Election 2012 * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam
For the life of me, I cannot understand why so many people in conservative-church pews and pulpits cannot grasp the fact that Obama is a liberal Christian. Yes, he may be so doctrinally liberal that, when it comes to eternal questions, he believes that there are no ultimate differences between Christians, Jews, Muslims and everybody else — but he is certainly not alone in believing that. The leaders of many denominations believe that. Legions of seminary professors agree with him.
In oh so many ways, Obama is a perfectly normal liberal Protestant Christian.
However, as recent Pew Forum research made clear, the world of liberal Protestantism is no longer at the heart of American life. The old mainline is now on the sideline, to the left of the mainstream. That does not mean that oldline churches are not important or worthy of balanced, nuanced coverage.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Culture-Watch Media Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General Office of the President President Barack Obama US Presidential Election 2012
Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign says it still has momentum. President Barack Obama’s campaign says that’s all spin.
Meanwhile, there isn’t a single well-informed pundit between them who can tell you who’s right.
“The problem is: there are so many variables. And now, with the storm, turnout may become an issue in closer Obama-leaning states like Pennsylvania,” Time Magazine’s Joe Klein told POLITICO. “Polling is inexact, especially with the cell phone factor — not enough data over time for pollsters to be absolutely sure they’re getting it right.”
Read it all.
It helps to laugh--this video is lots of fun check it out.
If there’s one thing we know, it’s that even experts with fancy computer models are terrible at predicting human behavior. Financial firms with zillions of dollars have spent decades trying to create models that will help them pick stocks, and they have gloriously failed.
Scholars at Duke University studied 11,600 forecasts by corporate chief financial officers about how the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index would perform over the next year. The correlation between their estimates and the actual index was less than zero.
And, if it’s hard to predict stocks or the economy, politics is a field perfectly designed to foil precise projections.
Read it all.
Among pollsters, there’s fear that changing technology (mainly cellphones) and growing public unwillingness to do interviews are undermining telephone surveys — and that there’s no accurate replacement in sight. A recent study by the Pew Research Center reported its response rate at 9 percent, down from 36 percent in 1997. Put differently: in 1997, Pew made about three residential calls to get one response; now it makes 10.
Beginning with answering machines and caller-ID in the ’70s and ’80s, suspicious Americans have become more selective in screening calls. Robo-calls — automated messages for products, politicians, charities and polls — have deepened the hostility. “The mass of communications coming into people’s homes ends up being a blur,” says Pew pollster Scott Keeter.
Cellphones pose problems because people who use them exclusively — people who don’t have landline phones — are younger, poorer and more Democratic than the general population. By late 2011, 32 percent of Americans 18 and over had only a cellphone, up from 16 percent in early 2008. Among those 25 to 29, the share was 60 percent.
Read it all.
Once again, Catholics will decide who will live in the White House for the next four years. It is not that Catholics constitute a majority of the electorate. Nor is it the case that there is any monolithic "Catholic vote" poised to go one way or the other. But, for a variety of reasons, Catholics will nonetheless break one way or the other in the final weeks of the race, and that will decide whether President Barack Obama or Gov. Mitt Romney wins....
Catholics...mirror the general electorate. About 46 percent are reliably Democratic voters and a like number almost always support the Republican candidate. It is those voters in the center of the Catholic electorate who are genuinely up for grabs, and whom the campaigns can try and reach without fear of driving up an opponent's turnout. In 2004, Catholics broke for George W. Bush, 52 percent to 47 percent, giving him the election. In 2008, they backed Obama over Sen. John McCain, 54 percent to 46 percent. The 2008 election was not as close as the 2004 race, so the Catholic swing vote was less decisive. But all analysts are predicting that 2012 will be a very close race. In a September Pew poll, Obama was leading Romney by 54 percent to 39 percent among Catholics, besting his 2008 showing. Polling also shows that Catholics' concerns regarding the issues track closely with the electorate as a whole. While more evangelicals rate abortion or same-sex marriage as a major concern, Catholics tend to rate the economy and jobs as their principal worries.
Read it all.
Deficit-reduction principles backed by more than 80 U.S. chief executive officers are so broad that anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist and an ally of President Barack Obama both claim their plans could satisfy the standards.
The Campaign to Fix the Debt, with more than $30 million in backing, announced an expanded list of supporters yesterday, including the leaders of Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) On the most vexing issue -- whether tax increases should be part of a deal -- the principles refer to lower tax rates and higher revenue, not higher taxes.
Read it all. You can also find the CEO Debt Concerns Press Release here.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch History * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- The U.S. Government The National Deficit Politics in General House of Representatives Senate US Presidential Election 2012 * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
There are a lot of fishy things going on in the presidential race.--Larry J. Sabato and Kyle Kondik, University of Virginia Center for Politics--Where things stand now.
The prolonged campaign for the White House shows why the US finds it so difficult to pursue a rational foreign policy in a world of unprecedented complexity. Articulating foreign policy in the heat of an election produces an irresistible temptation to proclaim simplistic remedies to complicated foreign challenges.
Hence the hasty public declarations that Syria’s Bashar al-Assad must go even before a realistic US policy to achieve that goal had been formulated. And hence the deference shown to the fevered pleas of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, for an ultimatum to Iran and the repeated references to the eventual use of US military power, without much consideration for potential regional or even global consequences. Hence, also, the pledge by Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, to announce that on day one of his presidency – without any prior negotiations – he would take punitive steps against China’s “currency manipulations”, irrespective of likely retaliation.
Alas, such a foreign policy – derived from politically expedient, short-term commitments – risks setting in motion dynamics that ultimately lead to international chaos....
Read it all.
Demographics are destiny, some say, and there’s plenty of truth to that. If you live in the South, you’re more likely to be an evangelical Christian than if you live in San Francisco. And if you live in San Francisco, you’re more likely to be an environmentalist (or at least recycling your soda can) than if you live in San Antonio.
More unusual are people who combine the two: Evangelical environmentalists. Rare, but rising in influence, evangelical environmentalists are equally well versed in ecology and theology. They and other proponents of the “creation care” movement may be harbingers of a cultural shift, albeit a slow one.
Read it all.
Taxes and government spending. Health care. Immigration. Financial regulation.
They are the issues that have dominated the political debate in recent years and have played a prominent role in this presidential campaign. But in many ways they have obscured what is arguably the nation’s biggest challenge: breaking out of a decade of income stagnation that has afflicted the middle class and the poor and exacerbated inequality.
Many of the bedrock assumptions of American culture — about work, progress, fairness and optimism — are being shaken as successive generations worry about the prospect of declining living standards. No question, perhaps, is more central to the country’s global standing than whether the economy will perform better on that score in the future than it has in the recent past.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch History * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market Personal Finance The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- Politics in General US Presidential Election 2012
The two presidential campaigns are sounding sharply different notes about how they can get to 270 electoral votes, but beneath the post-debate bravado from both sides there is a rough consensus about the shape of the race in its final two weeks.
Top strategists for both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney flooded the media center following the third and final presidential debate here Monday night, and made clear they will be primarily fighting over seven states and will spend most of their time and money in them between now and Nov. 6.
Read it all. As of this morning, President Obama was at 61.0 on Intrade.
I will take comments on this submitted by email only to at KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.
Return to blog homepage
Return to Mobile view (headlines)