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zuul's Journal
zuul's Journal
October 23, 2012

'We have these things called aircraft carriers' . . . HA HA HA

He is schooling the shit out of that moron!

October 23, 2012

I'm sick of this creep saying 'I know what it takes'

Obama too apparently . . . he's mentioned Robme's Mass record!!!

October 23, 2012

rMoney is not really attacking the POTUS . . . wtf?!?

Moderate Mitt is back, parroting everything the President says!

October 23, 2012

FL female undecided voters on CNN's tracker seem to like what POTUS says . . .

rMoney, not so much. Male voters are kind of all over the place.

October 22, 2012

Rogue electors threaten elections' integrity (some R's say they may not vote for rMoney)

By Robert M. Alexander, Special to CNN, Mon October 22, 2012

Editor's note: Robert M. Alexander is a professor of political science at Ohio Northern University and the author of "Presidential Electors and the Electoral College: An Examination of Lobbying, Wavering Electors and Campaigns for Faithless Votes."

While Barack Obama's and Mitt Romney's presidential campaigns rage on toward November 6, another campaign has been under way for some time, one that's mostly out of the public's eye.

An investigation by The Associated Press last month revealed that as many as five Republican electors expressed uncertainty whether they would actually vote for Mitt Romney if he carried their state. These electors appear to be unhappy with Romney and continue to show support for his primary rival Rep. Ron Paul.

In the wake of this news, one of the electors abruptly resigned her position. On another front, a Minnesota elector suggested that he may not vote for the Romney-Ryan ticket if the candidates fail to furnish their birth certificates (in an effort to put pressure on all candidates to furnish their birth certificates).

These potentially rogue electors would effectively disenfranchise hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of voters. The 2012 election will probably be very close. Consequently, in the worst of scenarios, a "faithless" vote might not only disenfranchise voters but alter the outcome of the race. While unlikely, this begs the question: Why do presidential electors still have independence in our current presidential selection process?

After examining those who make up the institution, I find one thing increasingly clear: We need to take the guesswork out of the Electoral College.

In 2004, I published a study aimed at shedding light on the mysterious figures who serve as presidential electors. In the hotly contested 2000 election, many electors were subjected to vigilant lobbying campaigns. Some received thousands of e-mails; at least one received a death threat.

A group called Citizens for a True Democracy, founded by two college seniors, published the contact information of 172 Republican electors online and asked people to urge them to put "patriotism before partisanship" and give their electoral votes to Al Gore. The group noted that it would have lobbied Democratic electors to give their votes to George W. Bush had he, rather than Gore, won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote.

Remarkably, four of the Republican electors I surveyed expressed unease over Bush's victory and the recounts in Florida. On its face, this would not be cause for great concern. However, the 271 electoral votes amassed by the Bush-Cheney ticket barely pushed them over the 270-vote Electoral College majority needed to win the election.

Consequently, just two Republican defections or abstentions would have denied the ticket of a majority of electoral votes and thrown the contest into the House of Representatives. Bush would still probably have been elected, but the Electoral College would have created yet another round of uncertainty.

Surveying the 2004 and 2008 presidential electors, I found that the 2000 election was not an isolated event. One-third of electors were contacted to change their votes in 2004, and nearly 80% were lobbied to change their votes in 2008. That year, the bulk of lobbying was conducted by "birthers" who saw presidential electors as a last hope to get their voices heard after their legal battles failed.

Currently, a majority of states and the District of Columbia have legal requirements or pledges to ensure that electors vote for their party's ticket. While the overwhelming majority of electors never consider changing their votes, a surprisingly large number do.

In my survey, nearly 10% of electors in 2004 and 11.5% of electors (including 20% of Republicans) in 2008 gave some consideration to voting contrary to expectations. To put this in perspective, this would be akin to all 55 of California's electors considering defection from their party's ticket. Such a prospect is quite unnerving.

Indeed, faithless electors are not fanciful creatures from mythology: Nine of the past 16 presidential elections have witnessed faithless votes (including two of the past three). Although none changed the outcome of an election, each faithless vote effectively disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of voters.

Electors are chosen primarily for their party loyalty, not for their judgment regarding candidates. Whatever one thinks of the Electoral College, Americans have come to expect that electors will faithfully translate the popular vote into the electoral vote. Elector independence simply adds another layer of uncertainty to a process that already has a great deal of cynicism attached to it.

Attempts to curtail faithless votes reflect a very real concern lawmakers and party officials have about the prospect of faithless voting. Ronald Reagan, for example, sent letters to each of the 538 Republican electors shortly before the 1980 election. If candidates are worried about such mischief, citizens should be concerned as well.

Efforts to prevent elector faithlessness, like the Uniform Faithful Presidential Electors Act, would provide greater assurance in the presidential selection process, a process where many citizens already have great concerns.

Too often, laws proscribing faithless voting take place in states after the act has been committed. States should move to adopt the Uniform Faithful Presidential Electors Act sooner rather than later. Doing so would remove the needless uncertainty created by potentially faithless electors and restore some confidence in the Electoral College process.

October 22, 2012

Even Fox News Admits That Mitt Romney's Tax Plan Doesn't Add Up

By Remington Shepard, posted on AlterNet.org, October 22, 2012

A Fox business host has admitted that it isn't possible to calculate how GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's plan would be paid for.

Independent fact-checkers and experts say that Romney's tax plan, a $5 trillion dollar tax cut that would largely benefit the wealthiest Americans offset by closing undisclosed loopholes, doesn't add up. The Romney campaign has responded by saying one possible way to pay for the tax plan is to cap the total amount of deductions a taxpayer can take. Experts have said that even with such a deduction cap, Romney's plan still doesn't add up .

And in a rare moment of truth for Fox, Fox Business host Stuart Varney admitted: "I cannot calculate how much money would be brought in" by Romney's plan.

October 22, 2012

Watching Stephanie Miller right now . . . excellent parody

of the song 'I need you' (by America), substituted as 'Romneysia' . . . freaking hilarious!!! I don't know if a video is available yet, but this is hysterical!!!

October 19, 2012

Social Security's rate of return is tough to beat

By Mark Miller, Reuters, posted on NBCNews.com, 10-19-12

Is Social Security a good deal? Many Americans worry that they will put more money into the system via payroll taxes during their working years than they will ever get back in benefits - and their concerns help fuel the ongoing push by Republicans to transform Social Security into a privatized system of personal accounts.

Mitt Romney has supported privatization in the past (see his book, "No Apology&quot , and running mate Paul Ryan argued for it as recently as last week's vice presidential debate: "Let younger Americans have a voluntary choice of making their money work faster for them within the Social Security system."

Could workers make their money grow more quickly with personal accounts? The actuaries at the Social Security Administration (SSA) ran an analysis recently that simulated real (after inflation) annual rates of return on payroll tax contributions for beneficiaries who were born between 1920 and 2004.

It showed that some workers might beat Social Security's returns in some years if they took risks in the stock market. But over a lifetime, Social Security's consistent, risk-free and inflation-adjusted returns would be very tough to beat.

I say "simulated" because the amount of your Social Security benefit is not based on tax contributions, but on your lifetime wage history and longevity. Moreover, Social Security is not an investment vehicle dependent solely on market returns - it is more like a form of insurance, annuity or pension, since its promise is to pay a monthly benefit amount no matter how long you live. In that sense, there is a peace-of-mind value that is difficult to quantify.

"Since you're guaranteed an inflation-adjusted income stream for life, you can think about your other sources of income and assets knowing that you'll always have Social Security," said Melissa Favreault, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute.

The simulations:

The SSA ran simulations analyzing workers with low, medium and high wages, and broke out results by four different life situations: single men, single women, a one-earner couple, and a two-earner couple. Then they adjusted the results for other key factors, such as mortality rates and disability. In addition, mindful that reforms will be coming at some point, they ran variations from the current outlook showing the impact of lifting the ceiling on taxable wages, and another scenario showing scaled-back benefits.

Overall, they found that the current Social Security program is a good deal. However, your mileage will vary by lifetime earning history, longevity and your year of birth. The payroll tax rate for Social Security's retirement and disability programs reached its current peak level - aside from the current payroll tax holiday - in 1990 (6.2 percent each for workers and employers).

Since we do not know what will happen on the policy front, I focused on the SSA's numbers assuming no change in current law. They found that every age group received a positive return. Among current workers and retirees, the rates of annual return varied by about two percentage points - from a high of 6.52 percent (for single-earning couples born in 1920) to 4.52 percent (for their counterparts born in 1985). So if you wonder whether you will "come out ahead" on Social Security, here are some key differentiating factors to keep in mind:

•Younger workers will get less. Today's young people will see lower rates of return, because they will have paid the highest payroll tax rates of all the age groups compared in the SSA analysis.

•Couples do better. Marital status is a key factor affecting Social Security returns. In every age group, the best returns went to married couples where one spouse works. That is because Social Security's design includes valuable spousal features that pay benefits to nonworking spouses and surviving widows. Spouses are entitled to receive the greater of his/her own benefit or half of their spouse's benefit. And surviving widows can step up to 100 percent of a deceased spouse's benefit. A single-earning couple with medium wages, born in 1943, will see a 4.59 rate of annual return, while a single female born the same year - also with medium wages - can expect a 2.49 percent return. (Spousal benefits are also available in cases where a lower-earning spouse had some earnings but so much less that their worker benefit is less than half.)

•Longevity matters. All pension and annuity systems are structured around mortality credits - that is, they use assets of those who die young to fund the benefits of those who live to a very advanced age. A projection by Favreault of Social Security data found that 82 percent of individuals who live to age 85 get back more in benefits than then pay in taxes; about 52 percent of those who die between 75 and 84 come out ahead. Meanwhile, just 21 percent of those who die between 62 and 69 get back more than they put in to the system. The odds here are especially good for women, since they have a higher likelihood of surviving to retirement age and longer lives after retirement. That gives them higher rates of Social Security return - a medium-earning single female born in 1943 can expect a 2.49 rate of return compared with 2.09 percent for her male counterpart.

•Lower-income workers come out ahead. Low-income workers enjoy higher rates of return by design, because Social Security's benefit formula is weighted toward lower-earning beneficiaries and their payroll tax contributions will be relatively lower. A very low-income couple born in 1943 will receive a 6.79 percent annual return, compared with 3.92 percent for their high-earning counterparts.
October 18, 2012

My 1st peek at the freeper website . . . what a complete clusterfuck!

HOLY SHIT . . . the freeper website is a complete clusterfuck . . . it is, graphically, a total mess! It looks like a 7 year old designed the site. I have a headache just from looking at it!

I won't bother to report on any of their nonsense. It's just too bat-shit crazy to repeat.

This makes me very thankful for the professionalism of DU. Not having been here very long, I guess I just took it for granted. THANK YOU, DU!

And now, I need a bleach bath!

October 18, 2012

Tagg Robme . . . Ya know what comes to mind when I see that name?

Skin tags, or acrochorda, those nasty little skin growths that tend to pop up in areas where the skin creases and causes friction . . . small benign tumors in the neck, armpit, and groin.

Yeah, Tagg rMoney seems like something you would find in your groin or your pits . . .

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