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Old 2008-11-05, 16:21   #727
ewmayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diamonddave View Post
McCain was quite eloquent in is concession speech! Can't wait for Obama's one.
That reminded me of the "old" John McCain I liked back when he ran in 2000, who has been sadly absent from most of this year's politics.

I apparently missed the Obama concession speech...
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Old 2008-11-05, 16:25   #728
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It really is a pity that McCain lost the primary in 2000. I remember my wife saying, "Good, GWB is so hopeless that Gore will easily beat him. McCain was a more formidable opponent!" Oh well. I think his lurch to the right and pandering to the extremists in his party really sealed his fate and he has only himself to blame.
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Old 2008-11-05, 23:33   #729
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Default Democratic presidents: good for the stock market

Investors,

Democratic presidents are better for the stock market than Republican presidents. It isn't even close ... and that's been known since before our current president's election in 2000!

"UCLA Professors Find Higher Average Excess Returns of Stock Market Under Democratic Presidents"

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...11/ai_65931682

(Notes:

1. The comparison is not over stock prices alone, but over the excess return of stocks versus treasury bonds during each administration.

2. Boldfacing at the end is mine.)

Quote:
The old adage that Republican presidents are good for business may be little more than a myth, according to research recently completed by finance professors Pedro Santa-Clara and Rossen Valkanov, of The Anderson School at UCLA.

A close examination by the two researchers of the stock market's average performance during Republican and Democratic presidencies reveals that returns are much higher when a Democrat is in office.

The two researchers arrive at their findings by analyzing the returns an investor would receive from placing his or her money in the equity market rather than T-bills over the period from 1927 to 1998.

Under Democratic presidents, the average excess return of investments in the stock market over the three-month Treasury bill is about 11 percent. Under Republicans, it is less than two percent; a nine percent difference. Examination of the risk-free interest rate produces another noteworthy result: under Republicans, the real T-bill rate is, on average, higher than the rate under Democrats by more than three percent.

The difference is even more striking when Santa-Clara and Valkanov examine stock portfolios formed according to the companies' market capitalization. Small cap stocks realize an average excess return of 18 percent during Democratic presidencies; while under Republican ones, the return was -3 percent. The difference in returns for large caps was approximately seven percent.

With hindsight, one can argue that those results are attributable to differences in the business cycle during Republican and Democratic presidencies, and a correlation between the business cycle and expected stock market returns. In fact, it is commonly accepted that the president's policies have an effect on the economy that, in turn, impacts the stock market. To take into account potential differences in economic conditions, the two researchers control for a vast number of macroeconomic variables, such as an indicator of recessions, the slope of the yield curve and credit spreads of bonds, that help remove the effect of business cycle fluctuations. Their surprising results hold: returns under Democrats are still, on average, higher.

. . .

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2008-11-05 at 23:38
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Old 2008-11-06, 18:37   #730
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Default Il Giovane, il Bello, e il Abbronzato (2008)

No, it`s not the title of an Italian spaghetti western...

Berlusconi Praises U.S. President-Elect Obama as `Young, Handsome, Tanned': Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi today praised Barack Obama, saying the U.S. president-elect is ``young, handsome and also tanned.''

Clearly, Uncle Silvio recognizes the qualities in Obama which are most impressive to an Italian politician.
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Old 2008-11-06, 22:17   #731
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Che cazzo!
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Old 2008-11-07, 02:18   #732
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
young, handsome and also tanned
... not to mention being, at 6-foot-1, noticeably taller than 5-foot-6 John McCain, in accordance with the statistically-significant (p < .05) correlation between taller candidate and popular vote winner. (The correlation with Electoral College winner is slightly lower.) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heights...ial_candidates)

The 7-inch Obama-McCain differential may have been the second-greatest (1988 Bush-Dukakis: 8 inches) since Lincoln's 10-inch advantage in 1864, but heights are not available for the top presidential candidates in four 19th-century elections after Lincoln's.

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2008-11-07 at 02:26
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Old 2008-11-07, 11:50   #733
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Default No evidence of the "Bradley Effect"

"No hidden white bias seen in presidential race"

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081107/...9HD_EU_3Nh24cA

Quote:
WASHINGTON – Whether whites supported Barack Obama or not, they don't seem to have lied to pollsters about it.

Obama's election triumph on Tuesday presented no evidence of the so-called Bradley effect, in which whites who oppose a black politician mislead pollsters about whom they will vote for. Instead, national and state pre-election polls were generally accurate in reflecting voters' preferences in the presidential contest.

"I certainly hope this drives a stake through the heart of that demon," Charles Franklin, a University of Wisconsin political scientist and polling authority, said of the Bradley effect.

The phenomenon is named after former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, an African-American who in 1982 lost the race for California governor after leading in the polls. There were similar contests over the following decade in which black candidates facing white opponents had comfortable leads in polls, only to lose or narrowly win the elections.

. . .

If the Bradley effect were a factor, pre-election polls should have consistently overstated Obama's share of the vote, or understated McCain's. Instead, most did a solid job of previewing how the vote would go, both nationally and in crucial states.

. . .

Such accuracy was a relief to pollsters rattled last winter when widespread projections of an Obama victory in the New Hampshire primary were upended after Hillary Rodham Clinton won narrowly.

"We're getting much more sophisticated estimates," said University of Michigan political scientist and polling analyst Michael Traugott, citing improved techniques.

Among them is the increased polling of people who have cell phones but no landlines. A Pew Research Center report in September, and exit polls of voters conducted Tuesday for The Associated Press and the television networks, suggest that people who have only cells tend to vote more Democratic than people like them with only landlines.

. . .

The Bradley effect was "a product of a particular political environment that seems to have passed us by," said Daniel Hopkins, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University who wrote a study this summer concluding that the phenomenon has disappeared.
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Old 2008-11-07, 12:28   #734
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Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
Folks, this sort of demonizing and emotion will spur assassination attempts, should Obama be elected.
Not that certain groups need any spurring in that direction ...

From a site (Stratfor) I find to have excellent and insightful analysis on almost everything I've read from it:

"Obama and the Presidential Security Challenge"

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20081...rity_challenge

Note: "USSS" refers to the United States Secret Service.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Burton and Ben West
. . .

Now that the election is over, Obama’s schedule will be greatly simplified, and it will take far less manpower to cover him. Obama will certainly have some travel, but the majority of this time probably will be spent between Chicago and Washington. This will allow the USSS agents protecting him to catch a breather and to establish a more secure, stable perimeter around the president-elect. Sen. John McCain’s protective detail also will be eliminated, freeing up even more bodies. The relative calm of the transition period will end with the January 2009 inauguration ceremony and festivities, the next serious headache the USSS will face.

Past Threats to U.S. Presidents

U.S. presidents always face an array of threats. Four U.S. presidents have been assassinated: Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley and John F. Kennedy. Assassination attempts have frequently occurred, with every president since Richard Nixon having been targeted for assassination, with some threats more credible than others.

The tremendous amount of power and symbolism of the office makes U.S. presidents prime targets for assassination. Obama will be no exception. But in addition to bearing the title of president, Obama also will be the first black president — something that introduces a whole new and more serious threat matrix. Obama uniquely faces a threat from white supremacist groups, some of which believe a black president should be killed.

Two plots to assassinate Obama were broken up during the campaign season, and several more remain under investigation. During his campaign, Obama was the target of a few threats that attracted considerable press coverage but in the end didn’t amount to much. Press portrayals aside, reviewing the facts establishes that these incidents were certainly not viable threats to Obama.

In one instance, authorities announced in late August that three Colorado men had been arrested after police found illegal weapons and methamphetamines on the men. During interrogation, federal agents learned that the group of methamphetamine users had discussed harming Obama. One of the men wore a swastika ring, indicating a possible link to the neo-Nazi movement. In the end, though, the three men were indicted on drugs and weapons charges alone, as the U.S. attorney overseeing the case said the evidence was insufficient to charge the men with conspiring to do bodily harm to a presidential candidate. While the group had discussed the topic, it apparently had made no overt acts in furtherance of an attempt, an element required to bring conspiracy charges.

In another instance, two young men from Tennessee and Arkansas who had conspired to go on a crime spree that would end with an attempt on Obama’s life were arrested Oct. 22. Their scheme was outlandish from the start, and included robbing a gun store, killing 88 blacks and beheading 14 (both significant numbers to the white supremacist movement) and then performing their coup de grace on the presidential candidate while dressed in white tuxedos and top hats. As it was, the two managed only to be scared off by dogs during an attempted home burglary, shoot out a window of a nearby African-American church and draw neo-Nazi symbols on their car in sidewalk chalk. The two had met to discuss their plans on a Web site associated with white supremacists and skinheads. While their plan hardly got off of the ground, the two did show a high level of enthusiasm for their mission that certainly could be replicated within the white supremacist movement.

White Supremacists and an African-American President

The Obama presidency occurs against the unfortunate backdrop of a history of assassinations of prominent African-American leaders in the United States. These have included Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. (Evers’ assassin was a Ku Klux Klan member, while King’s assassin, James Earl Ray, at the very least harbored racist sentiments.)

Broadly, there are three schools of thought among white supremacist groups on how to view Obama’s election.

The first school of thought is that someone should (or will) threaten Obama because of his race since his election has outraged white supremacists. While publicly making such a call is grounds for arrest, plenty of white supremacist blogs and Web message boards talk of the inevitability of an attack on Obama in a very suggestive way. This school of thought believes that such an attack would inflame racial tensions, sparking riots along the lines of those that followed the 1968 King assassination. Such violence would be viewed as positive in this thinking, as open combat between whites and blacks would bring their ideology to the forefront.

The second school, reflecting perhaps the most widely echoed dogma within the white supremacist movement, believes that an Obama presidency benefits their movement since it will serve as a wake-up call to white America. Once Americans of European descent realize how far they have fallen now that a black man has been elected to the most powerful office in the country, goes the argument, they will flock to join white supremacist groups to reassert their power. An Obama presidency, this school argues, is thereby good for the white supremacists since it would swell their membership rolls and give them more influence and publicity. Former Louisiana state representative and Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke supports this line as does fellow white supremacist leader Tom Metzger.

This second school of thought is bolstered by the argument that the other candidates weren’t going to be any better, as they were all under the influence of the even more despised Zionist Occupation Government (ZOG). Adherents of this anti-Semitic conspiracy theory believe that Jews pull the strings behind a puppet U.S. government. Obama, in their opinion, is at least not under the heavy influence of Jewish interests. This line of reasoning is in no way an endorsement of Obama, but more of an instance of them making the best of a situation they see as terrible for whites in the United States.

The third and last school of thought holds that the U.S. government, which is secretly controlled by the ZOG, is plotting to attack Obama itself. This group believes ZOG will blame white supremacists for the killing, which they will use as an excuse to clamp down on white supremacist hate speech as well as gun ownership.

Conspiracies and Lone Wolves

The USSS is much more adept at countering group conspiracies than lone wolf actors. Lone wolves are very, very difficult to uncover, especially if they remain isolated and tell no one of their plans. Groups are much easier to track, as their movements are more noticeable and their operational security weaker, as all members must remain silent to keep the plot clandestine. The money trail is also a dead giveaway for groups, as outside organizations will often fund their operations, helping them buy equipment and supplies in preparation for an attack.

Considering this, white supremacist groups are under very tight surveillance by U.S. federal law enforcement agencies, and scrutiny of their activities will only increase as Obama takes office. As seen in the Tennessee case, online discussions and postings can come back to haunt Internet collaborators. It would be very difficult for even a small group to operate below the radar of not just the USSS but also the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the FBI, the CIA and the National Security Agency, all of which will have their proverbial ear to the ground to protect the president — one of the most important national security missions these groups have.

The lone wolf, in the end, poses the most likely threat to Obama, and to any target for that matter. The lone wolf’s ability to act alone, keeping his intentions, activities and whereabouts to himself, makes it very difficult for law enforcement agencies to identify a threat before it is too late. But the lone wolf also must be very smart and have some access to resources such as weapons and vehicles — characteristics severely lacking in the two cases above that targeted Obama.

The real threat emerges when intent and capability are joined. White supremacists have the intent, but so far have not exhibited capability. We would expect federal authorities to uncover many more plots to attack the president that have been hatched by white supremacist ideologues. So long as they remain amateurish like those in Denver and Tennessee, the president remains secure from the white supremacist threat. But if a combination of ideology and ability to act as a lone wolf comes along, the threat level rises.

Given the ties that figures within the white supremacist movement like Duke have with hostile foreign countries such as Russia and Iran, a scenario comes to mind in which a foreign country could secretly fund and train a low-level member or simply a sympathizer of the white supremacist movement to carry out an assassination. Duke has praised Russia’s nationalist movement and has traveled there several times. He also attended a 2006 Holocaust denial conference in Tehran, Iran, where he was in general agreement with the Iranian regime.

Indications of such foreign connections have come up during investigations of past assassinations. Lee Harvey Oswald attempted to obtain Cuban and Soviet visas in Mexico City before he assassinated JFK. Recently, declassifications have tied Oswald to known KGB assassin Valery Kostikov. While these circumstances alone are not enough to conclusively link outside meddling with the JFK assassination, they certainly do raise questions. Additionally, Ray fled to Europe on a fake Canadian passport after killing King. He was arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport two months after the King assassination with large amounts of cash, indicating Ray had outside help in the killing.

Presidential security is a serious national security matter. A successful (or even unsuccessful) attack on a president causes instability in the United States and in the wider world. And given the especially delicate balance that the United States, Russia and countries of the Middle East are striking right now, an attack on the president would destabilize U.S. foreign policy and have a heightened impact on national security. Domestically, the assassination of the country’s first black president would run the risk of devastating race relations — and white supremacist movements see themselves as substantially benefiting from racial strife.

Tell Stratfor What You Think

This report may be forwarded or republished on your website with attribution to www.stratfor.com

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2008-11-07 at 12:29
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Old 2008-11-07, 14:24   #735
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Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
Investors,

Democratic presidents are better for the stock market than Republican presidents. It isn't even close.
The stock market seems thrilled with Obama's election -- down only a thousand points in 2 days.
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Old 2008-11-07, 16:18   #736
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Originally Posted by Prime95 View Post
The stock market seems thrilled with Obama's election -- down only a thousand points in 2 days.
And it had been doing so well this year ... figures a damn socialist would ruin the party. Next we'll be hearing all about "reining in excessive speculation," "sane lending practices", "limits on executive compensation" and a bunch of other Marxist-theory claptrap.
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Old 2008-11-07, 16:27   #737
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prime95 View Post
The stock market seems thrilled with Obama's election -- down only a thousand points in 2 days.
George, the study didn't say that Republicans understood that Democratic presidents are good for the stock market. And it analyzed the market over the spans of administrations (you know -- four years at a time "when a Democrat is in office"), not over the spans of two days following an election in the midst of a world crisis.

Anyway, the preceding two days have been part of the Bush administration, not the Obama administration, so they're not really out-of-character!

Perhaps one reason that a change from a Republican president to a Democratic president is good for the stock market's performance during the Democratic president's administration is that so many Republicans have a can't-help-themselves-knee-jerk sell-sell-sell reaction to a Democratic election win, which worsens the overall market performance during the incumbent Republican's administration, and don't recover their senses until they see the improvements during the following administration, whereupon they buy back in, assisting the market's overall performance for the duration of the Democrat's administration.

You can mock me ... or you can pay attention to the lessons of history.

Republican post-election selloffs are fine with me right now -- I've been waiting for the market to bottom before I plunge back in, and post-Democratic-election-win selloffs are one of the most reliably-predictable category of market actions, along with October troubles (I haven't always timed right, but I got mostly out of stocks in September 1987 and advised my friends to do so, too, after seeing a chart comparison of 1983-1987 with 1925-1929 early that month), post-Republican-election-win rallies and year-end rallies.

Excuse me now -- I need to go see my broker.

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2008-11-07 at 16:55
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