Patterico's Pontifications

3/4/2012

Carbonite Drops Limbaugh — But A-OK with Ed “Laura Ingraham Is a Slut” Schultz

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:42 pm

So a whole bunch of advertisers are dropping Rush Limbaugh. I always feel ambiguous about boycotts, pressure on advertisers, and such. For me, it generally comes down to the rightness of the cause. Here, I can’t get terribly excited on either side. Sure, Fluke is a fake; a 30-year-old who shouldn’t have sex if she can’t afford $9 a month for birth control pills — and someone who has grossly misled the country about the price of contraception. But calling her a “slut” and so forth? It seems personal and nasty to me, and if Rush really thought that was the appropriate way to handle it, he should have the courage of his convictions and tell off his advertisers.

Here’s what is outrageous, though: Carbonite advertises on Ed Schultz. And he called Laura Ingraham a “right-wing slut.”

I don’t recall Carbonite pulling their advertising then. I guess the operative word in the phrase “right-wing slut” is the word “right-wing.” If it’s a conservative you are calling nasty names, it’s A-OK.

That’s what Carbonite seems to be saying . . . doesn’t it?

So I figure that a lot of Limbaugh listeners subscribed to Carbonite for their backup needs because of Rush Limbaugh. And a lot of them might choose to stop because of Carbonite’s hypocrisy.

As I said, sometimes boycotts seem justified. Maybe this is one of those times.

I Went Looking for Breitbart.com

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:26 pm

And found this:

It’s obviously a hiccup as they are launching a new look for the site — which is happening any moment now, and which I hear is fantastic.

Still. The irony is not lost on me.

UPDATE: I’m told we’ll see the new site within the next hour. They’ve really talked it up, so I’m excited.

UPDATE x2: Apparently this is one of those sites where you need the “www” in front of the name, narciso points out.

I can at least reach the site now, but it’s the old version. Again, sometime in the next hour we should see it.

UPDATE x3: The new site is up. Looks nice.

Buffalo Teachers’ Free Plastic Surgery

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:06 pm

Nothing says “thanks for teaching my kid!” like a free boob job at taxpayer expense:

As thousands of teachers face layoffs across the country, teachers in Buffalo, New York are getting lipo? Yep. And nose jobs and whatever else they want. All on the taxpayers’ dime. How is this happening?

. . . .

The sweet deal that all the 3,400 teachers in Buffalo are eligible to get under one of their insurance plan options, they are billed nothing for any plastic surgery procedure, such as botox, liposuction, tummy tucks, and there is no deductible.

Linda Tokarz teaches second grade and says she gets regular treatments. She says, “I think its great for us. I wouldn’t want to see it taken away.”

Well, what’s the problem? The taxpayers can well afford it, right?

Of course they can’t:

Last year, Buffalo’s schools spent $5.9 million on plastic surgery which is also known as a cosmetic rider. And Buffalo teachers have had this rider for nearly four decades.

Now you might think Buffalo’s school district must be flush with cash to be offering perks like free plastic surgery, right? Wrong. Louis Petrucci, the president of the Buffalo Board of Education says he is projecting a $42 million deficit in next year’s school budget.

If it were up to me, I would put the matter to a vote. Then I would find out who the teachers were who voted for the benefit and fire them all.

But I guess that would be illegal or something. It reminds me of the classic Mr. Burns quote:

“Ironic, isn’t it Smithers? This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election, and yet if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail. That’s democracy for you.” –Mr. Burns

Since my plan won’t work, here’s Plan B. Contact the hackers who used e-voting machines to elect Bender the robot from Futurama to the Washington D.C. school board (h/t Aaron Worthing) — and send them to Buffalo.

Plan C: establish fiscal sanity in this country.

Never mind. That plan is too far-fetched.

Thanks to Dana.

Found in a Dumpster: The Transcript of Barack Obama’s Call to Sandra Fluke

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:28 pm

I found this transcript in the dumpster where iowahawk finds all his discarded notes and transcripts. For some reason this one was in a box labeled “unfunny.” Anyway, here it is:

Hey, Sandra. Barack here. Hey, thanks for that testimony you gave. I know you thought it was risky because you’re really a 30-year-old activist, and that you claimed you have to pay $3000 for contraception when you can actually get free birth control from Planned Parenthood, and failing that can get birth control pills for 9 bucks a month at Target. I know you thought that might make you look like a whiny nanny-state activist who wants other people to buy her all the inexpensive things she might want.

But I could have told you not to worry. We got Eric Boehlert calling you a college student when he knows damn well you’re not. The newspapers aren’t going to report the real price of contraception or your age or past activism. Best of all, we got Rush Limbaugh to make fun of you in a way that he wasn’t willing to stand by when the advertisers started balking.

So that’s the story. You’re officially a victim now. The narrative is written.

There was this guy named Andrew Breitbart who went around telling everyone that the real problem in this country is the media. That every screwed-up policy that gets through Congress can ultimately be traced to an electorate misled by the cabal in charge of information. But he’s dead now, and I think that effectively killed his message.

So anyway, it was very helpful, Ms. Fluke, and I thank you for your service to your count — wait, someone just handed me a note. Something about that Breitbart guy’s message surviving his death. And they’re even talking about a newly designed Breitbart site coming online today. I, I gotta go, Ms. Fluke. I gotta go.

I have no idea what any of this means. I just pass it along.

No, the GOP is not doomed in 2012

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 9:39 am

[Posted by Karl]

RCP’s Sean Trende is having none of this defeatism:

Conservative opinion maker George Will compares the GOP’s presidential fate to Barry Goldwater’s flop. Many key Republicans reportedly believe they are indeed “consigned to defeat.” Conservative blogger Erick Erickson promises that defeat if the GOP nominates Mitt Romney. Liberal analyst Ruy Teixeira predicts that Obama will retain the White House as decisively as he attained it four years ago.

RTWT for a wide-ranging explanation of what should be obvious to the doomsayers, i.e., the 2012 presidential election is far from over.  I will focus of Teixera’s analysis from a different angle from Trende, because it turns out that I have already debunked most of it before it was written.

Unsurprisingly, Teixeira leads with some Emerging Democratic Majority theory, based on the results of a recent Pew poll.  The most recent Quinnipiac poll still has Obama short of his demographic targets.

However, Teixeira spends most of his time with three cherry-picked election forecasting models (such models are generally developed to help explain elections, but people cannot help from forecasting with them).  I have already written about two of them.  Political scientists have found Nate Silver’s model has a larger mean average error than all of the most well-known election forecasting models.  Alan Abramowitz’s “Time For a Change” model favors Obama, in part through the power of incumbency — but his model has over-predicted the vote of the incumbent candidate by at least 1.85% in each of the last four presidential elections.  The third model, from Larry Bartels, relies not only on incumbency, but also implies that that income loss in 2009 will translate into a gain of more than 7 percentage points in Obama’s expected vote margin this year.  Although untested by other political scientists, Bartels himself notes this theory runs contrary to his prior argument that “voters are overwhelmingly focused on the here and now” and “must be taken with a large grain of salt,” particularly given the high ratio of parameters to data.

Indeed, this is why I prefer simpler models that Teixeira conveniently avoids.  The “Bread and Peace” model from Douglas Hibbs uses only two variables (real disposable personal income per capita and military fatalities in unprovoked wars).  That model’s results last month were not encouraging for Obama, even if you modify the model to give him credit as the incumbent.  Since then, real disposable income has fallen.

Among newer models, there is the “Nowcast,” from professors Charles Tien of and Michael Lewis-Beck, who have done a fair amount of work in this area.  The Nowcast is based largely on the National Business Index (NBI), which the authors define as the percentage of respondents who say “business conditions are better” minus the percentage of respondents who say “business conditions are worse,” as measured in the national University of Michigan Survey of Consumers.  This NBI, measured in April six months before the November election, correlates highly with incumbent vote share since 1980.  The most recent Nowcast (.pdf) — just one month from April — has Obama at 47.4%, which not only projects an Obama loss but one outside the average overall model error of 2.2%.

In short, it is easy to be bearish on the GOP amid a fractious fight among ostensibly weak candidates.  It is also easy to understand why someone like Teixeira would want to proclaim inevitable doom even before the GOP nominee.  But it seems like Will and Erickson are letting their opinions of Romney cloud their judgment.

–Karl


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