2012 U.S. Presidential Election

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Iulus Cofield
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2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Iulus Cofield » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:36 am UTC

The Republican primaries are now over with Romney the official candidate and before the end of the week, the election season is now in full swing. I hold the reasons for this thread to be self-evident, but here are some talking points:

Are Americans better off because of Obama? Biden: "Let me just sum it up this way, folks. . . . Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive.” Ryan: “Simply put, the Jimmy Carter years look like the good old days compared to where we are now.”

Post-fact politics? Clarence Page: Team Romney's war against facts

Mitt Romney: tax evader? Bain Capital, among others, subpoenaed by New York Attorney General

Can Obama win the youth vote again? He's certainly trying hard, even going so far as to personally descend to the darkest corners of the internet.

There are a lot of websites providing frequent updates, all the major news websites have dedicated sections for it, and the two main resources I use are Gallup and ElectoralVote, which tracks single state polls and collates them to try and predict how the numbers will pan out in November.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Zamfir » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:29 am UTC

Can Obama win the youth vote again? He's certainly trying hard, even going so far as to personally descend to the darkest corners of the internet.

Sheez. From your formulation, I thought he posted the home addresses of Romney and Ahmadinedjad on the Random board, and they're now getting kiddie porn in the mail.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Роберт » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:23 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Can Obama win the youth vote again? He's certainly trying hard, even going so far as to personally descend to the darkest corners of the internet.

Sheez. From your formulation, I thought he posted the home addresses of Romney and Ahmadinedjad on the Random board, and they're now getting kiddie porn in the mail.

If he'd done that, I'd consider voting for him.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby faranim » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:36 pm UTC

I have been following the 3rd party candidates pretty closely. I am still hoping that Gary Johnson can push to 15% in the polls to be "allowed" to debate against Obama and Romney. Although I also think that if he actually got to 15%, the debate committee would simply change the rules to keep him out. The GOP have been working real hard to get Gary Johnson off the ballot in many states, and to keep him off out of the mainstream news stations (CNN, Fox, etc).

Also, if you haven't done so already, check out http://www.isidewith.com/

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby The Reaper » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:46 pm UTC

faranim wrote:Also, if you haven't done so already, check out http://www.isidewith.com/
http://www.isidewith.com/results/32116822 :3 My top two are pretty awesome, I think.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:08 pm UTC

http://www.isidewith.com/results/85593912

Not really surprising at all. Gary Johnson > Jill Stein > Mittens Romney == Barack Obama. Not really heard much about Rocky Anderson, but I like his party's name.

How did you get yourself on your list? And why are you not agreeing with yourself 100%?

EDIT: lol, I think that is supposed to be me, not you, after seeing sam_i_am's post. Though not sure why they put me 97% agreeing with him, since I don't.
Last edited by Sheikh al-Majaneen on Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:11 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby sam_i_am » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:08 pm UTC

faranim wrote:I have been following the 3rd party candidates pretty closely. I am still hoping that Gary Johnson can push to 15% in the polls to be "allowed" to debate against Obama and Romney. Although I also think that if he actually got to 15%, the debate committee would simply change the rules to keep him out. The GOP have been working real hard to get Gary Johnson off the ballot in many states, and to keep him off out of the mainstream news stations (CNN, Fox, etc).

Also, if you haven't done so already, check out http://www.isidewith.com/



http://www.isidewith.com/results/85599483

More or less similar to last time.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:14 pm UTC

Does it always come up Gary Johnson? :)

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:16 pm UTC

faranim wrote:I have been following the 3rd party candidates pretty closely. I am still hoping that Gary Johnson can push to 15% in the polls to be "allowed" to debate against Obama and Romney.

Unlikely, but where would one go to help?

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Xeio » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:21 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:Does it always come up Gary Johnson? :)
It came up Jill then Obama for me, but then I only filled out half the survey then decided I should probably do work...

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby sam_i_am » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:22 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:Does it always come up Gary Johnson? :)



Well, for the sake of illustration, I took the following quiz with the sole intention of getting the highest possible score in favor of Obama(without cheating by over-analyzing the metrics).

http://www.isidewith.com/results/85634048

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Роберт » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:30 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:Does it always come up Gary Johnson? :)

No.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Inglonias » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:49 pm UTC

I found this... rather sad story about the reporting on the campaign trail

Reporters: We loathe 2012 campaign

On a related note, this blog post from the New York Times may explain the article

Why Campaign Reporters Are Behind the Curve

I thought that these articles were kind of interesting.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Wnderer » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:53 pm UTC

No one is voting for Roseanne?

http://roseanneforpresident2012.org/

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Zamfir » Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:07 pm UTC

Aren't you americans getting bored with it all? The show has been going on for what, a year or so? And approximately nothing has happened. Republicans nominated the guy they were going to nominate, people don't really likes him just as expected, Obama does sort of OK but the economy is not good enough for a guaranteed win.

What if journalists only started to pay attention, say, one month before the elections. Would anyone be really less informed than they are now?

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby omgryebread » Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:25 pm UTC

sam_i_am wrote:Well, for the sake of illustration, I took the following quiz with the sole intention of getting the highest possible score in favor of Obama(without cheating by over-analyzing the metrics).

http://www.isidewith.com/results/85634048
It's kind of funny that my actual results have me at 93%, only two less points than your intentional-Obama. I got a 92% with Stein. Romney cruised in at a nice 4%.

I'm actually surprised Johnson got a 52% from me. I'd probably vote for Johnson over Romney, but the two are so similar that I don't particularly bother differentiating their positions.

It does generally shake down to my preferences though. I suspect if you took away the positions for political expediency, I'd be very close to 100% on Obama, and probably a little more in agreement with Romney.

http://www.isidewith.com/results/85577414 if you're curious.


Zamfir wrote:Aren't you americans getting bored with it all? The show has been going on for what, a year or so? And approximately nothing has happened. Republicans nominated the guy they were going to nominate, people don't really likes him just as expected, Obama does sort of OK but the economy is not good enough for a guaranteed win.

What if journalists only started to pay attention, say, one month before the elections. Would anyone be really less informed than they are now?
Gasp! Never! There's always like a year after a presidential election where I'm super bored because there's no political coverage. I end up reading news I don't care about, and the next thing I know, I care about it, and suddenly I'm massively invested in news about Lindsey Lohan.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby kiklion » Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:20 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Aren't you americans getting bored with it all? The show has been going on for what, a year or so? And approximately nothing has happened. Republicans nominated the guy they were going to nominate, people don't really likes him just as expected, Obama does sort of OK but the economy is not good enough for a guaranteed win.

What if journalists only started to pay attention, say, one month before the elections. Would anyone be really less informed than they are now?


We have 24 hour news channels here, what do you expect them to talk about? LIBOR scandal? MF Global and John Corzine?

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:28 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Aren't you americans getting bored with it all?

Bored with the actual coverage, and pissed that I can't watch TV without being bombarded by demonizing half-truths about both candidates every commercial break. Thanks, Citizens United.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:46 pm UTC

Look, we all know that Americans won't do anything until elections are over...and they can't do it after because it'll affect the upcoming election. They only have the short 2 months after an election to do anything. Also, they want holidays and weekends off, plus travel time so Monday and Fridays are gone. Yes, they only work Tuesday to Thursday, because god forbid that they lose a minute to fundraise.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:55 pm UTC

I just love how the issues it says I don't side with Jill Stein are in fact issues I pretty much agree with her on.


Probably the results on Johnson being high is that tendency of libertarians to want to stay out of social issues.

Also, I really think Harvard Law should just issue a blanket apology for their role in this election.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby dhokarena56 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:20 pm UTC

Of course we don't get bored. Here is the secret: other countries have elections; America has a sport.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:27 pm UTC



GM being alive may be a poor talking point for them, as they're talking bankruptcy again, and another round of corporate bailouts isn't going to be viewed fondly by many voters...if there's one the the electorate, right and left, disliked, it was the giant corporate infusion of cash to failing companies, especially when some of those companies were viewed as helping to cause the mess. No, if they fail...a bailout won't be a viable path out, and it'll be kind of a stick in the eye.



Some of this is partisan nitpicking. Some though, is entirely legit. Romney is apparently relying on Laffer Curve style handwaving for economics. Anyone who actually has the slightest understanding of macroecon has got to be bothered by the lackadaisical approach to everything economic this election. For such a central issue, a lot of people aren't bothering to do any sort of justification for their claims.



Not as concerned over this. The timing appears politically motivated in nature, and lots of mud is gonna get slung. I'll worry about this once the dirt is actually found.

I am, of course, not surprised at all by the nomination. Yup, boredom with it all is not uncommon. I've still got money bet that Obama wins, but he'd have to seriously change stance on at least something notable for me to consider voting for him. Personally, I love the hell out of politics, but I hate the advertising campaigns that obscure the actual politics.

omgryebread wrote:I'm actually surprised Johnson got a 52% from me. I'd probably vote for Johnson over Romney, but the two are so similar that I don't particularly bother differentiating their positions.


I'd consider them pretty far apart, personally. Romney/Ryan is too much a typical, traditional republican set. There's really no platform issues there that are shockers, it's the same ol' refrain. Lower taxes, don't support gay marriage, yadda, yadda. Libs are traditionally pretty liberal on social issues, so matching up there shouldn't be much of a surprise.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:46 pm UTC

faranim wrote:I have been following the 3rd party candidates pretty closely. I am still hoping that Gary Johnson can push to 15% in the polls to be "allowed" to debate against Obama and Romney. Although I also think that if he actually got to 15%, the debate committee would simply change the rules to keep him out. The GOP have been working real hard to get Gary Johnson off the ballot in many states, and to keep him off out of the mainstream news stations (CNN, Fox, etc).

Also, if you haven't done so already, check out http://www.isidewith.com/



I'm still reading through my results, but it seems that every time I answered 'yes, but' or 'yes, and' that's actually interpreted as 'no' and vice versa, which makes reading the positions I supposedly agree with a little strange.

Also, I wish there was more nuance to the 'how important is this issue to you' buttons, I would have rated science, and especially space exploration, so much higher than any other issue.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:25 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:I'm still reading through my results, but it seems that every time I answered 'yes, but' or 'yes, and' that's actually interpreted as 'no' and vice versa, which makes reading the positions I supposedly agree with a little strange.

Also, I wish there was more nuance to the 'how important is this issue to you' buttons, I would have rated science, and especially space exploration, so much higher than any other issue.


I wish it covered more issues and was a bit more thorough, to be honest. I don't really agree with my results (it didn't have questions for things like corporate tax, payroll tax, sales tax, or sin taxes which are really important to me but I disagree with pretty much every candidate on), but it is better than some of the other tests out there.

http://www.isidewith.com/results/86380871
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:38 pm UTC

Pretty strongly libertarian here, not really surprised.

http://www.isidewith.com/results/86426337

There were a few questions I answered least for, but that the accurate answer would more likely be "do not care at all". That should really be an option.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Diadem » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:15 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Aren't you americans getting bored with it all? The show has been going on for what, a year or so? And approximately nothing has happened. Republicans nominated the guy they were going to nominate, people don't really likes him just as expected, Obama does sort of OK but the economy is not good enough for a guaranteed win.

What if journalists only started to pay attention, say, one month before the elections. Would anyone be really less informed than they are now?

It's interesting to compare that with the elections over here.

The Dutch general elections are 12 September 2012. So in 8 days. The biggest two parties, and at least one other major party, had their election congress in the weekend of the August 25th. The first major debate was Sunday August 26th. There were two debates earlier, but many parties didn't show up because their leaders were still away on their summer holidays. Basically the entire election campaign is 3 or 4 weeks.

I really don't think Dutch voters are generally less informed than American ones.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:25 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:I really don't think Dutch voters are generally less informed than American ones.
Well, about the ISSUES maybe, but Americans are clearly more informed about important things: the candidates' pets' names, which drugs they did in college, and who beat up the most hippies in high school.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:30 pm UTC

The best thing about today is that there are only 60 days left to the election. The only question that has been in play is if you will choose Republican or Democrat, irregardless of who leads the ticket. The remove between the voters and the politicians is too removed to be effective. Governors should name Senators, and Presidential candidates selected randomly. How could that be worse then the current process? As it is I am left with a choice between Obama and Romney. The only upside I currently feel for Obama is that he is known quantity. Romney hasn't had a chance to fuck up yet.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby ahammel » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:35 pm UTC

faranim wrote:Also, if you haven't done so already, check out http://www.isidewith.com/
Apparently I'm supporting somebody called "Jill Stein". And I think Tyndmyr would make a better president than Romney by a large margin.

Also: somebody named "Rocky" is apparently running for president.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:55 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:I'm still reading through my results, but it seems that every time I answered 'yes, but' or 'yes, and' that's actually interpreted as 'no' and vice versa, which makes reading the positions I supposedly agree with a little strange.

Also, I wish there was more nuance to the 'how important is this issue to you' buttons, I would have rated science, and especially space exploration, so much higher than any other issue.


I wish it covered more issues and was a bit more thorough, to be honest. I don't really agree with my results (it didn't have questions for things like corporate tax, payroll tax, sales tax, or sin taxes which are really important to me but I disagree with pretty much every candidate on), but it is better than some of the other tests out there.

http://www.isidewith.com/results/86380871


Well, this kind of quiz has to be somewhat limited in that regard as there are a finite number of candidates and positions they hold, but an infinite variety of issues and positions it is possible to hold on them. I assume the various issues and answers here were chosen to be representative of the candidates rather than to be an actual measure of an individuals political leanings.

Still, I feel a better quiz for matching people to candidates would be to take a collection of actual positions statements from the candidates, and summaries of their positions (without attributing the positions/statements until after the quiz is complete) and then rate how strongly you agree/disagree with each. That should give a more accurate mapping of individual views to candidates.


Also, I'm wondering about the states shown in some people's list. Is that the state you're from, or just a state the quiz thinks you hold similar political leanings to? I got Texas at 60%, and I'm from Texas, but I wonder if I was in some other state, if I would have been compared to the voters in that state instead.

And, I wanna know where I stand in comparison to Vermin Supreme
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:02 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:Also, I'm wondering about the states shown in some people's list. Is that the state you're from, or just a state the quiz thinks you hold similar political leanings to? I got Texas at 60%, and I'm from Texas, but I wonder if I was in some other state, if I would have been compared to the voters in that state instead.


I got compared to California, so I'm guessing looks up the state the IP address is registered for.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Kolko » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:33 pm UTC

I took it from outside the US and I didn't get a state.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Adacore » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:10 am UTC

I also took it from outside the US and didn't get a state. I got 55% agreement with 'American Voters', though. 90% with both Obama and Jill Stein, ~60% on Rocky Anderson and Gary Johnson and ~5% on Romney and Virgil Goode. The by-party split is even stronger - 99% Democrats, 2% Republicans.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Jahoclave » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:54 am UTC

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby bentheimmigrant » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:11 am UTC

I apparently agree 86% with Obama... which is probably true. But the lack of questions on Science really make it look like I'm some kind of Luddite. All the others had extra questions, but science just has one on the ethics of stem cells, stance on evolution, and space funding. None of which are particularly important issues for me politically. What about general science and engineering funding? Do I have to answer falsely for space exploration to weigh it more in favour of money for science???

Anyway, fivethirtyeight is showing an increasingly strong lead for Obama, particularly because of reasonably good economic news (They use a few specific indicators that are updated fairly regularly). It's looking more and more like Romney just won't be able to compete for the electoral votes, even if the national vote is practically a tie.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby liveboy21 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:27 pm UTC

I am not from the United States but I follow the politics because the decisions made tend to affect the rest of the world in different ways. I did that isidewith quiz and it said that overall I agreed with Jill Stein (mainly because of Science issues) but that I agreed with Obama's economic answers. I was quite puzzled because I didn't think that I agreed with Obama's economic policies and I was wondering if my answers happened to align due to the simple wording of the questions.

So I opened the link to Obama's economic answers as decided by them and I was shocked to see that my answers did indeed align with Obama's. However, it was not because I agreed with what he has done but because many answers attributed to Obama are either the exact opposites or close to the opposites of the policies supported by his administration.

Cutting Social Security, extending the Bush tax cuts, bailing out the banks in 2008. All policies that the quiz claims that he is against but all policies that he supported, gave speeches on, fought for and enforced. (He can't say that he should have put more restrictions on the bailouts when he was the one who personally chose to remove those restrictions. I'll link back to the topic about Frontline: Money, Power and Wall Street here. http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=84042 )

So I'm thinking that someone has been lied to somewhere in the process of making that quiz (I also have no idea what the sources for those stated positions are). Or perhaps I'm reading Obama's position on such issues wrong. I'm not in the United States so I may miss out on any backpedals or clarifications or stuff like that. Let me know what you guys think.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:20 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:
faranim wrote:Also, if you haven't done so already, check out http://www.isidewith.com/
Apparently I'm supporting somebody called "Jill Stein". And I think Tyndmyr would make a better president than Romney by a large margin.


I look forward to the day when we elect presidents from the internets. =) Imagine the voter blocks. Wait, on second thought, this might be horrifying.

bentheimmigrant wrote:I apparently agree 86% with Obama... which is probably true. But the lack of questions on Science really make it look like I'm some kind of Luddite. All the others had extra questions, but science just has one on the ethics of stem cells, stance on evolution, and space funding. None of which are particularly important issues for me politically. What about general science and engineering funding? Do I have to answer falsely for space exploration to weigh it more in favour of money for science???


I apparently agreed with Obama most on science, yes...but my prioritization for some of these issues was also fairly low...stem cells in particular. It does seem like a lightly covered topic compared to the others.

liveboy21 wrote:So I opened the link to Obama's economic answers as decided by them and I was shocked to see that my answers did indeed align with Obama's. However, it was not because I agreed with what he has done but because many answers attributed to Obama are either the exact opposites or close to the opposites of the policies supported by his administration.


Well, which politician holds which views is...somewhat subjective. I mean, Romney was all for gov-run health care before he was against it. My guess is that it's a snapshot of the current stuff. Many politicians publicly supported views/actions have changed over time...sometimes pretty dramatically.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Princess Marzipan » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:15 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Aren't you americans getting bored with it all? The show has been going on for what, a year or so? And approximately nothing has happened. Republicans nominated the guy they were going to nominate, people don't really likes him just as expected, Obama does sort of OK but the economy is not good enough for a guaranteed win.

What if journalists only started to pay attention, say, one month before the elections. Would anyone be really less informed than they are now?


dhokarena56 wrote:Of course we don't get bored. Here is the secret: other countries have elections; America has a sport.
This is, sadly, rather true.

There is also the element that starting election season later means there isn't enough time to fundraise for election season.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:14 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
liveboy21 wrote:So I opened the link to Obama's economic answers as decided by them and I was shocked to see that my answers did indeed align with Obama's. However, it was not because I agreed with what he has done but because many answers attributed to Obama are either the exact opposites or close to the opposites of the policies supported by his administration.


Well, which politician holds which views is...somewhat subjective. I mean, Romney was all for gov-run health care before he was against it. My guess is that it's a snapshot of the current stuff. Many politicians publicly supported views/actions have changed over time...sometimes pretty dramatically.

I think it's more likely it's tailored to official answers on questions, rather than actual votes and actual policies.

For instance, saying "I don't support Wall Street bailouts" might match Obama's answer, even though he did bail out Wall Street, simply because his official response was something like "I wouldn't bail out Wall Street again, unless I thought we really needed it." The same could be said of the Bush tax cuts. They're often attacked by the Obama administration, even though Obama himself has extended all of them and is pushing to extend most of them.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:20 pm UTC

Part of that is a simple issue of scale.

Consider one politician trying to reach the electorate...ok, just his half of the electorate. So, instead of hitting all 231 million eligible voters, he opts to chat up a mere 136 million, just enough for a bare minority. With a year to go, he opts to tour the country and have a beer with a few people and chat with them a bit. Assuming that he has a single beer with a batch of 100 people at once, and never stops to eat or sleep, he will need to slam a beer every 23 seconds, mutter a few words, then teleport instantly to his next destination. Obviously, this presents some difficulties, not least of which is the beer and teleportation budget.

So, in practice, if he wants to reach people at all, he's forced to rely on mass media. This, in turn, makes him rely on a media budget. So, time for fundraising, time to try to meet as many people as possible...it all adds up to basically requiring the sort of media circus we find ourselves in today.


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